Yellowjackets report: Both UWS soccer teams ousted in NCAA first round

The finish was particularly heartbreaking for the Yellowjackets men, who took a lead in the 86th minute before giving up goals 49 seconds apart just two minutes from the end.

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Wisconsin-Superior's men's soccer season ended in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday, Nov. 12 in the first round of the NCAA tournament, as the Yellowjackets watched an 86th-minute lead turn into a 3-2 defeat to North Central (Ill.).

After an exchange of goals in the first half, the teams found themselves deadlocked at 1 late in the second half, and when Gavin Watkinson scored in the 86th minute of play, the Yellowjackets found themselves minutes away from their first NCAA tournament victory since 2019, especially since the Cardinals' Jack Bonavia was sent off for a second bookable offense in the 75th minute.

However, the 10-man Cardinals found an equalizer, from Jaziel Enriquez, at the 88:08 mark. UWS pushed down the field and had a corner kick seconds later, but the play resulted in a counterattack down the length of the snowy field for the Cardinals, which Daniel Navarro buried for a game-winning goal with just 63 seconds to play and only 50 seconds after UWS held the lead.

Blake Perry had the first-half goal for UWS, which put eight shots on frame to the hosts' 16 and had 13 shot attempts to NCC's 19.

The Yellowjackets finish the season 16-4-2.



Loras swats Yellowjackets

Wisconsin-Superior found itself on the unfamiliar side of a lopsided score in an NCAA tournament first-round contest at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.

The 15th-ranked Duhawks scored six times in the first half and thumped the Yellowjackets 7-1.

Loras scored just 1:49 into the contest, and Ryleigh O'Brien added to the lead in the eighth minute in what would be the first of a five-goal game.

Mya Holmquist got UWS going by burying a deflected cross for UWS's goal just 51 seconds later, but O'Brien finished her hat trick early with goals in the 21st and 37th, and added two more in the 38th and 59th minutes.

Jenna Lang made seven saves for UWS, which finished the season 15-4-4.


Pioneers pull ahead of Yellowjackets

A late surge from Wisconsin-Platteville spoiled the final game of the Merrill Thompson Classic on Saturday at Mertz Mortorelli Gym.

The Pioneers outscored the Yellowjackets 24-9 over the last nine minutes to grab a 77-68 victory.

UWS was red-hot in the first half, shooting 16-of-25 from the field and making 7-of-9 3-point attempts for a 43-33 halftime lead. UWS remained in front by as many as 11 midway through the second half. The game got heated, with five technical fouls assessed in the last 8:51, three of them to UWS. UWP tied it on a free throw after the second technical and took the lead on Bradley Nies' dunk with 3:53 to play.


A Josef Fahrenholtz three put UWS back in front, 66-64, but the Pioneers had a 13-2 advantage the rest of the way.

Five Pioneers scored in double figures, led by Logan Pearson's 20 points.

For UWS, Fahrenholtz scored 28 on 11-of-17 from the floor. The Yellowjackets were 26-of-49 from the field (53.1%).

The 1-1 Yellowjackets will play at Bethel on Nov. 19.


Four-goal second period lifts UWS

Wisconsin-Superior had a special day on special teams on Saturday, scoring four times on the power play and once shorthanded in a 6-1 nonconference win at St. Mary's in Winona, Minnesota.

UWS already led in the first after Austin Paul scored at even strength when the Cardinals handed them a 5-on-3 advantage with simultaneous minor penalties. C.J. Walker (at 7:55) and Reed Stark (at 8:34) made the Cardinals pay for both of them, and Colton Friesen doled out more justice at 17:24 when he scored on the power play, too.

Less than 20 seconds after UWS went shorthanded late in the second period, Collin Pederson sprung loose for a shorthanded goal and an insurmountable 5-0 lead.

Friesen finished with a goal and two assists for the Yellowjackets, who were 4-for-6 on the power play.


Goalie Dylan Meilun made 21 saves for UWS (3-2-0), which begins Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Friday at Wisconsin-River Falls.


Yellowjackets blanked in WIAC opener

Wisconsin-Superior only generated 10 shots on goal and couldn't get any of them past Wisconsin-Eau Claire goaltender Stephanie Martin on Saturday in a 3-0 defeat to open WIAC women's hockey play on Saturday in Eau Claire.

The Blugolds struck late in the first and second periods on even-strength goals from Hallie Sheridan and Eden Gruber before a Sophie Rausch power play goal finished it off 3:47 into the third.

Rose Beeman stopped 36 shots for UWS (3-1, 0-1 WIAC).

The Yellowjackets have a nonconference game at Gustavus Adolphus on Tuesday night.


UWS competes in North Regional meet

A 67th-place finish from Michael Butterfield led Wisconsin-Superior in NCAA North Regional competition on Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

The Yellowjackets were 22nd in team competition.

The UWS women finished 29th, with Halle Barker taking a team-best 134th place.


This story was updated at 8:45 a.m. Nov. 14 with the correct spelling of Michael Butterfield's name. It was originally posted at 10 p.m. Nov. 12. The News Tribune regrets the error.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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