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WIAA Girls Soccer Sectional: Wildcats advance

The most successful season in the history of River Falls High School girls' soccer continues.

The Cats, already Big Rivers Conference and regional champions for the first time ever, are now within one game of reaching the WIAA State Soccer Tournament for the first time after defeating Eau Claire Memorial in a shootout Thursday, June 10, at Wildcat Field.

The score was tied 2-2 after 80 minutes of regulation play and two ten-minute overtimes. River Falls scored on two of its first three penalty kicks with Sarah Bugar and Lucie Patrick accounting for the goals.

Eau Claire Memorial made its first penalty kick before Wildcat goalkeeper Paige Meyer dove to her right to punch away the Old Abes' second attempt. The third sailed over the net, outing sophomore Sierra Becker in a position to win the game for River Falls.

Becker did just that, burying her shot into the lower left corner before being mobbed by her teammates.

The Cats took a 2-0 lead in the first 15 minutes on goals by Sarah Vitale and Ella Bump. But Eau Claire Memorial converted a pair of corner kicks, the first just over a minute after Bump's goal and the second seven minutes into the second half, to tie the score.

The Wildcats, now 15-1-4, will travel to Wausau to face Wausau East (17-1-2) in the sectional final game Saturday, June 12, at 1 p.m. at Wausau West High School. The winner earns a berth in the WIAA Girls Soccer State Tournament June 17-19 at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.

See the June 17 print edition of the River Falls Journal for complete coverage of the Wildcats' playoff run.

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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