Women’s offense not capitalizing, drop 2 of 3

Pioneer+senior+defender+Breanna+Waldron+%282%29+slide-tackles+Aurora+University%E2%80%99s+Kristina+Umlauf+in+the+first+half+of+the+Pioneers%E2%80%99+2-0+loss+Sept.+14.+The+Pioneers+have+had+solid+defense+thus+far+in+2013%2C+but+the+offense+has+struggled.

Shelby Le Duc

Pioneer senior defender Breanna Waldron (2) slide-tackles Aurora University’s Kristina Umlauf in the first half of the Pioneers’ 2-0 loss Sept. 14. The Pioneers have had solid defense thus far in 2013, but the offense has struggled.

A bevy of missed opportunities on offense haunted the Pioneer women’s soccer team in its last three matches, as they lost two of three home contests.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville routed Clarke University 2-0, Sept. 11 at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium, improving the team’s record to 4-1 on the season, and posting their fourth shutout of the year.

“The defense has been strong,” head coach Allison Stringer said. “They win the air game and they’re just smart back there.”

Senior Corey Daehling assisted senior Melissa Dunlavy in scoring her third goal of the season at the 29th minute of the first half to give the Pioneers a 1-0 advantage.

At the 34th minute, freshman Yamilex Jaramillo kicked a pass over the Clarke goalie to Daehling to put the Pioneers at 2-0.

In the second half, neither team had great opportunities for goals, leaving the final score at 2-0.

Junior Jade Jandt anchored the defense in the first half, recording two saves. “I knew I had to stay positive and be a leader on the field to make sure everyone else stayed positive,” Jandt said.

The Pioneers have been using two goalkeepers, with Jandt getting the start and freshman Mandy Taylor finishing the game, which has seemed to work in the Pioneers’ favor.

“The defense is confident with both of them back there,” Stringer said. “Both of them are playing very well.”

With two home games over the weekend, the Pioneers were confi­dent they could keep up their winning ways.

“We’re going up right now, and we’re going to try to keep it that way,” Dunlavy said, “We’re going to have a great season.”

However, the offense lost their rhythm in the team’s weekend games, as the squad endured a 2-0 loss against Aurora University on Sept. 14.

The game started off fast with the Pioneers pushing forward and taking shots on the goal very early on, but the Aurora Spartans held the Pioneers off. With the Pioneers unable to capitalize on the early oppor­tunities, both teams went back and forth until the 25th minute when the Spartans’ Lorelei Ritzert scored, making it 1-0.

In the 27th minute of the game, the Spartans would have scored again if it were not for the effort of Jandt making a great save. From then on, the Pioneers struggled to get the ball on the other side of the field, leaving the score 1-0 going into the half.

In the second half, the Pioneers switched goalkeepers, and the Spartans kept new goalie Mandy Taylor busy throughout the half. Neither side was able to break through and score until the final minutes of the game when the Spartans’ Nicci Bermudes scored a goal up the middle, making the final score 2-0.

With the Pioneers having multiple shots on the goal in both halves, they had opportu­nities throughout the game to score; this was the main concern of Stringer.

“We had a loss of energy at the end of both halves and we didn’t put opportunities away,” Stringer said. “We came out and gave 110 percent and played straight from the heart, and that attitude and desire is what will give us success in the rest of the season.”

UW-Platteville dropped a 2-1 match to Carroll (Wis.), dropping its overall record to 4-3 as of Tuesday. Pioneer senior Katie Viney scored early in the second half, but the defense was unable to hold the lead.

The Pioneers will return to the pitch Saturday, beginning the WIAC schedule with a match at University of Wisconsin-Superior.