MEQUON, Wis. – The CUW women's soccer team avenged a 2-3 October loss to the Scarlet Hawks of Illinois Tech with a 5-3 victory in the NACC Tournament Semifinals. The snow could not slow down the Falcons as the Falcons improved to 16-4-0 on the year to set a new program record for victories in a season.
"What a tremendous effort from our team today," said head coach Ryan Middendorf. "Clearly under less than ideal playing conditions, we made the plays we needed to. This was an exciting match to be a part of. I loved how our squad dealt with the adversity of the match and responded strongly each time. I would also like to thank everyone who helped us pull this game off and supported us today. We had a lot of snow fall today and it was not easy to get the field ready, but they did."
The Scarlet Hawks drew first blood in the seventh minute on a shot from 18 yards out.
IIT was able to tie the game in the 31st minute.
The Falcons headed into halftime with a 3-2 lead.
In the 49th minute, IIT's Kenna Flores drew her second yellow card of the afternoon and put the Falcons up a player for the final 41 minutes.
The Hawks would not fold and scored a goal off a deflection in the 72nd minute.
Junior Kaeley Sterkel (Dana Point, Calif.) made a key save on a free kick in the 86th minute to keep the Falcons ahead.
Junior Allison McElwee (Laramie, Wyo.) broke past a pair of defenders with 53 seconds remaining to ice the game.
The Blue and White held a 26-14 advantage in shots on Wednesday, Selena Esten led all players with eight.
Kaeley Sterkel was solid again in the net and finished with four saves.
The victory sets a date with the Stars of Dominican on Saturday. CUW won the first meeting of the year, 5-0. Prior to the CUW victory the Stars were unbeaten in the last four meetings. The Falcons lead the all-time series, 13-5-1.
The Falcons are also making their third NACC Championship Match appearance with losses to Aurora in 2006 and 2014. CUW is looking for its third conference tournament title, with Lake Michigan Conference titles in 1998 and 2004.
The championship match is scheduled for a 1:45 first kick at Dominican.