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Titans' Hard-Fought Effort Falls Short In WIAC Championship Opener

Delaney Karl attempted three shots against the Eagles, including one of the Titans' five shots on goal.
Delaney Karl attempted three shots against the Eagles, including one of the Titans' five shots on goal.

Maddy Fennessy scored the contest's only goal, an unassisted kick in the 55th minute of play, as UW-La Crosse defeated UW-Oshkosh, 1-0, in a first-round match of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Women's Soccer Championship (Presented by Culver's) held Tuesday (Nov. 5) in La Crosse.

Fennessy recorded her third goal of the season, all match winners, at the 54:30 mark of the game. She scored on the last of her three shots attempted in the contest.

UW-La Crosse goalkeeper Quinn Shannon, who entered the match with a WIAC-leading 0.62 goals against averaged, saved five UW-Oshkosh shots as she tallied her ninth shutout of the year.

UW-Oshkosh, which is the only program to have participated in each of the last 27 WIAC postseason tournaments, totaled 12 shots overall against UW-La Crosse (12-6-2 record). The Titans (8-10-1 record) were led by the three shots from Delaney Karl and the two from Mackenzie Bennett.

Shannon kept UW-Oshkosh from scoring by saving shots launched by Titans Rylie Kaufmann in the eighth minute, Mallory Knight in the 63rd, Karl in the 75th, Maddie Young in the 84th and Tory Schumann in the 90th.

UW-La Crosse, the two-time defending WIAC tournament champion, also compiled 12 shots in Tuesday's match. The Eagles were paced by the three shots from both Fennessy and Kaitlyn Villars.

UW-Oshkosh goalkeeper Madelyn Runyan matched Shannon with five saves. Runyan stopped a pair of shots from Villars (15th & 29th minute) and one apiece from Fennessy (41st), Natalie Schisel (42nd) and Camryn Hart (58th).

UW-Oshkosh, which was seeded fifth among the six participating teams in this year's WIAC Championship, held a 5-1 advantage over UW-La Crosse in corner kicks. The Titans earned four of their corner kick opportunities in the first half.

Fourth-seeded UW-La Crosse, which also defeated UW-Oshkosh, 2-0, on Oct. 5 in La Crosse, advances to play at second-seeded UW-Stevens Point (11-4-2) during the tournament's semifinal round on Thursday (Nov. 7).

Thursday's other semifinal contest features top-seeded UW-Whitewater (12-5-3) hosting sixth-seeded UW-River Falls (10-9-1). The Falcons qualified for their match with UW-Whitewater by defeating third-seeded UW-Eau Claire (14-6), 2-1, on Tuesday in Eau Claire.

The WIAC Championship final will be contested Saturday (Nov. 9) at the site of the highest remaining seed. The winner of the WIAC Championship earns the league's automatic berth into the 64-team NCAA Division III Championship that begins next week.

2019 WIAC Women's Soccer Championship Website

Photo courtesy of Jim Lund