Wildcat soccer team gets first win with shutout
Sophomore forward Rylie Wehner nodded in her second goal in as many games in what proved to be the deciding goal as Wildcats beat the Cougars 2-0 on a hot and humid Friday afternoon at the WSC Soccer Pitch.
Wayne State and Sioux Falls spent the first 20 minutes fighting for control in midfield. After a Cougar foul, senior Natalie Rech pinged a free kick into the box that fell to the head of Wehner, who popped it over the Cougars’ netminder to put the Wildcats on the board.
The Wildcats forced two saves out of the keeper the rest of the half and kept their lead going into intermission. Wayne State outshot Sioux Falls 6-3 in the first half despite a staggering 8-1 advantage for the Cougars in corner kicks.
Wayne State looked refreshed out of the halftime whistle, recording four shots in the first 10 minutes of the second half, including a Brooke Buzzell header that Sioux Falls’ Paul pushed onto the post to keep the Wildcats off the board.
The Wildcats broke through, however, late in the second half as a through ball from senior Christina Stasi slid through the backline of the Cougars defense perfectly to the feet of freshman Madison Kemp. Kemp kept her composure and poked it under the keeper to double the advantage and effectively seal the game.
Wayne State outshot Sioux Falls in the contest by a 15-9 margin, including a 10-2 difference in shots on goal. Alyssa Bagley earned her first clean sheet in the net for the Wildcats, finishing with two saves. Paul finished her afternoon with eight saves for the Cougars.
“I thought both teams battled hard in these conditions,” Wildcat coach Joe Cleary said after the game. “I loved our team’s effort and attitude both in the flow of the game and on set pieces. It was definitely nice to score two goals and get a shutout.”
The Wildcats will be at home again Sunday afternoon, hosting Southwest Minnesota State in a 1 p.m. contest at the WSC Soccer Pitch.