Soccer earns two shutout wins

Calvin Skalet

Freshman Mallory Knight (No. 6) advances the ball down the field past a Platteville defender on Saturday.
[/media-credit] Freshman Mallory Knight (No. 6) advances the ball down the field past a Platteville defender on Saturday.

The UW Oshkosh women’s soccer team earned a pair of home victories as the Titans defeated both UW-Platteville and Lawrence University this past week.

UWO continued its winning ways as the Titans earned their third straight shutout victory over the Vikings by a score of 10-0. The win improved UWO’s record to 6-5-2.

It was a great offensive performance for the Titans, as the team blew the Vikings out of the water in shots on goal. UWO shot the ball 47 times while the Vikings attempted just four shots during the entire match.

Of the 47 shots, UW Oshkosh was able to get 31 shots on target, while the Vikings were able to attempt just three shots on goal.

Contributions came from a multitude of Titans on Wednesday, as eight different UWO players were able to score.

Junior midfielder Taylor Arnold and freshman Danielle Reptowski each scored two goals for UWO during Wednesday’s match.

Six other Titans found the back of the net on Wednesday: junior Alek Kleis, junior Alexis Brewer, sophomore Michaela Schenk, sophomore Maddie Morris, freshman Abby Austin and freshman Delaney Karl each added one goal to the blow-out victory.

The Titans split goalkeeping duties as junior Jessica Galason spent the first half in goal and freshman Erin Toomey saw action in the second half. Galalson recorded two saves for the Titans while Toomey blocked one shot for UWO.

This victory puts the Titans in striking distance of first place, as UWO finds itself in second place in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Titans are just two games back from UW-La Crosse.

On Saturday, UWO played the Pioneers and earned a 2-0 victory over UW-Platteville at J. J. Keller Field, keeping its unbeaten record in the WIAC alive.

UWO sophomore Maddie Morris struck first for the Titans, after the midfielder launched a shot from the 18-yard box that hit the crossbar and eventually landed in the back of the net. The assist came from freshman forward Abby Austin.

Abby Austin (No. 28) and Maddie Morris (No. 26) celebrate a goal scored by Morris.
[/media-credit] Abby Austin (No. 28) and Maddie Morris (No. 26) celebrate a goal scored by Morris.

The Titans are playing their best soccer as of recent, holding their past three opponents to zero goals while putting up 13 goals on the opposition.

The score stayed that way for the majority of the match, until UWO senior defender Felicia Retrum converted during a corner kick to give the Titans their eventual margin of victory, a 2-0 lead over the Pioneers in the 89th minute.

UWO was able to keep its opponent scoreless for the third straight time. Galason recorded her third shutout of the season after saving seven shots from the Pioneers in Saturday’s game.

The Titans offense was aggressive on Saturday as the team was able to get off 26 shots in the match while still keeping its opponent to just 11 shots. Oshkosh also attempted more corner kicks, with the Titans winning the corner kick battle 11-3, one connecting for a goal.

Of the 26 shots taken, 11 different UWO players attempted a shot during the match. Austin led the way for the Titans with five shots, Morris was able to get four shots off for the team and freshman forward Mallory McKnight and senior defender Fiona Neary both attempted three shots each.

Defensively, the Titans have been locking down opponents, completing shutouts in their last two matches. Having seen the team progress over the course of her senior season, Retrum said the team’s cohesion is evident in every game, but on defense, it really shines through.

“It feels awesome and it’s an honor to be able to be the WIAC defensive player of the week; I honestly never would have been able to get this though if it weren’t for my defense in front of me,” Galason said. “My teammates all contributed to the two shutouts we were able to hold against Whitewater and Platteville.”

Defensively, the Titans have been locking down opponents, completing shutouts in its last two matches. Having seen the team progress over the course of her senior season, Retrum said the team’s cohesion is evident in every game, but on defense, it really shines through.

“I think the defense has been doing so well because we have really focused on linking up with our other players,” Retrum said. “When the ball is on one side we will then swing the ball through the back line until there is a clear pass to make.”

UWO head coach Erin Coppernoll echoed Retrum’s thoughts about the defense, and said strong chemistry in the back line has been crucial for the Titans success thus far.

“I think our defense is the main reason why we’re sitting where we’re sitting,” Coppernoll said. “In the Whitewater game, we defended really well against a good team, so I think if we have the focus on playing good defense, all you need is one goal to win. A 1-0 game in soccer can be really frustrating, but it can also be very exhilarating in the same sense.”

Coppernoll said getting into an offensive rhythm has been a struggle at times, but the recent success on the offensive side of the ball has resulted in positive takeaways from games, including victories.

“The great thing about Saturday was we were able to score two really good goals through the run of play,” Coppernoll said. “Four games ago, that probably wasn’t going to be the case; so scoring two goals through the run of play was really nice to see.”

UW Oshkosh now increases its record to 6-5-2, which is good for second place in the WIAC behind UW-La Crosse.

Retrum said getting off to a quick start is going to be important if the Titans want to extend their season well into postseason play.

“Before postseason [play] starts, I believe as a team we can work on coming out in the first minutes of a game and playing hard,” Retrum said. “In past games, we have started out our games a little slower and on our heels, [but] we have really improved on this throughout our last couple of games.”

The Titans now begin a road trip as UWO will go to UW-Stout on Saturday, Oct. 14 and UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday, Oct. 18.