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River Falls' Bailey LaPoint, center, and Tara Frey, right, watch LaPoint's header sail just over the crossbar in the first overtime of Thursday's 0-0 tie with Menomonie. Both teams wore special jerseys in recognition of the Wildcats' "Go Pink" campaign to raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer.

Cats clinch first BRC soccer title

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Cats clinch first BRC soccer title
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

It might have been more fun to do it with a victory, but Thursday's scoreless double-overtime tie with Menomonie was enough to give the Wildcat girls' soccer team its very first Big Rivers Conference championship.


The tie kept the Wildcats undefeated at 8-0-2 in BRC play, 12-0-3 overall, and earned them their first conference title in program history.

Officially, the Wildcats had six shots on goal, but they sent many more shots just wide or over the net.

Sarah Vitale hit the post on a breakaway late in the second half and sent another ball rolling towards the far post that nobody could get a foot on before it dribbled wide. Bailey LaPoint sent a header off a corner kick just over the crossbar in the first overtime.

Goalkeeper Paige Meyer, meanwhile stopped all three shots she faced while denying a number of other Menomonie scoring chances by beating their attackers to the ball.

"If this was a game to see who could hit the most crossbars, we would have won," Wildcat head coach Steph Nelson said. "They fought hard until the end, which I am proud of, but I am still disappointed that we didn't get the 'W.'"

The Big Rivers Conference began sponsoring girls' soccer in 1995, and up until last year no team other than Hudson or Eau Claire Memorial had won a conference championship. Chippewa Falls won the title last year.

The Wildcats have two games remaining in the regular season, both at home. They host Chippewa Falls today (Friday, May 21) at 4:30 p.m. and finish up against Rice Lake on Thursday, May 27, at 5 p.m.

WIAA regional play begins Thursday, June 3. Pairings will be announced following the coaches seeding meeting on Friday, May 28.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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