The University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s soccer team has become the team to beat in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.
Since winning the postseason title in 2017, the Yellowjackets won their second-straight UMAC regular-season championship with 6-1 win over the Northwestern Eagles Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex.
Tuesday’s victory also extended the Yellowjackets’ unbeaten streak against UMAC teams — including postseason — to 30 games. Their last UMAC loss was to St. Scholastica on Oct. 3, 2017.
UWS, which scored six goals for the fourth time in the last five games, got two goals from senior Eric Watson and four saves from keeper Dalton VonKaenel.
Watson leads UWS with 14 goals.
UWS also got a goal and assist apiece from Miguel Ocampo and Blake Doyea, and Blake Perry scored his 11th goal.
Joshua Hintz scored Northwestern’s goal and Austin Gunkel and Aidan Lynch combined on four saves. The Eagles fall to 3-13-1 and 2-4.
Against UMAC opponents this year, the Yellowjackets have five shutouts and outscored teams 43-3.
Leading the way offensively in UMAC play for UWS was the duo of Watson and Perry. Watson's nine goals tops the UMAC in conference tallies and Perry has a league-best 18 points.
In goal, VonKaenel and Payton Anderson have allowed just three total goals and have 12 combined saves.
The Yellowjackets have two non-conference contests remaining — Saturday, Oct. 26, at St. John's, and Saturday, Nov. 2, at Bethel.
UWS is the No. 1 seed for the UMAC tournament, which begins the week of Nov. 4. The Yellowjackets get a first-round bye and will host a semifinal contest game on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
Ranked No. 7
UWS (12-3-2, 8-0) also jumped to No. 7 in the latest United Soccer Coaches regional rankings. The Yellowjackets are ahead of Simpson (14-2-1), UW-Whitewater (12-3-1) and Knox (11-3-2) in the rankings.
The top three remained unchanged from a week ago with Luther (11-3-1), Central (11-2-2) and Loras (12-4-1). St. Thomas (9-3-3), sixth last week, switched places with No. 4 St. Norbert (10-4-2) and Gustavus Adolphus (12-3-0) stayed put at No. 5.
Northwestern's Danielle Roberts scored in the 64th minute and Ellie Fryer turned back one UWS shot for a 1-0 win on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex.
On the scoring play, UWS goalkeeper Madison Gutekunst saved the initial shot from Northwestern's Anna Welch but Roberts secured the rebound and fired a shot into the upper-right corner.
The Yellowjackets were peppered with 20 shots on goal and Gutekunst kept the game close making 19 saves.
UWS (6-8-2, 5-1) plays at St. Scholastica at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Saints Field.
‘JACKET JOTTINGS: Gutekunst was named last week’s UMAC Defensive Player of the Week. She had two shutouts and tallied six saves in a pair of wins.
UWS rallied briefly in the third set but Northwestern squelched the comeback and won in four sets on Wednesday in St. Paul.
Northwestern, ranked No. 7 in the NCAA’s first regional rankings, won 25-17, 25-22, 25-27 and 25-19.
UMS' Cami Sletta finished with 22 kills, Hannah Goggleye had seven kills, a solo block and four block assists and Megan Holz had 19 set assists.
Northwestern had 57 kills to Superior's 51. The Eagles also shut out UWS from the service line, not allowing an ace while garnering seven themselves. The 'Jackets led in blocks, 9-8.
The Yellowjackets, 12-15 overall and 4-3 in the UMAC, play North Central at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in Minneapolis.