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Falcon Roundup: Matsushima nets four in win over Auggies

Eddie Matsushima

Matsushima nets four in win over Auggies

The UW-River Falls men's hockey team posted a tie and a win across the border last weekend, battling St. John's to a 2-2 draw Friday, Nov. 2, in Collegeville, Minn. before throttling Augsburg University, 7-3, Saturday, Nov. 3, in Minneapolis

Senior forward Eddie Matsushima scored four goals Saturday, including one on a power play and another shorthanded, to increase his team-leading total to six through the first four games as the Falcons' improved to 2-1-1.

Aussie Miller, Mike Sauer and Cayden Cahill added a goal each and Peter Karavos earned three assists. Zach Quinn finished with 28 saves as the Auggies outshot the Falcons, 31-27. The loss was the first of the season for Augsburg as they dropped to 3-1-0.

One night earlier in Collegeville, freshman Josh Arnold scored a pair of third period goals to salvage a 2-2 tie with the Johnnies.

Arnold's first goal came on a power play 35 seconds into the third period. Three minutes later he netted an unassisted, shorthanded goal to tie the score, 2-2. The goals were the first two of the season for the freshman from nearby Roseville, Minn.

Quinn finished with 16 saves as the Falcons outshot the Johnnies, 40-18.

UWRF will return home this weekend to host Concordia University (Minn.) at Hunt Arena Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10, at 7:05 p.m. each night.

Women skate to third straight win

After opening the season with a 4-3 loss to Adrian College Oct. 27, the seventh-ranked Falcon women's hockey team has rattled off three straight wins, including a pair of victories over Concordia University (Minn.) last weekend at Hunt Arena.

UWRF posted a 7-2 victory Friday, Nov. 2 before winning 4-1 Saturday, Nov. 3.

Callie Hoff scored twice and Kathryn Larson had a goal and two assists in Friday's 7-2 win. Abigail Stow, Jamie Bird, Madi Nolan and Julia Stelljes added a goal apiece while Tatyana Delaitre and Leighton Rockensock combined to make 15 saves.

Hoff added two more goals Saturday and Stelljes and Haley Nielsen had one apiece as the Falcons completed the sweep of the Cobbers with a 4-1 victory. Bella Wagner and Ashley Effertz had two assists each while Delaittre stopped 20 of 21 shots she faced.

UWRF, now 3-1-0, will open WIAC play at UW-Stevens Point Saturday, Nov. 10, before returning home to host Bethel University Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7:05 p.m.

Oshkosh tabbed for WIAC men's hoops title

UW-Oshkosh, the NCAA Division III national runner-up from a year ago, has been selected to win the 2018-19 WIAC men's basketball championship, based on a preseason poll conducted by league head coaches and sports information directors.

The Titans, who are ranked second nationally in the Preseason Poll, bring back four starters from last year's squad that tied a school record with 25 wins and received the program's eighth NCAA postseason bid. UW-Oshkosh welcomes Matt Lewis as its interim head coach, replacing Pat Juckem, who served six seasons at the helm. Lewis was UW-Oshkosh's top assistant the previous six years.

UW-Oshkosh is followed in the conference predictions by UW-Platteville; UW-Stevens Point; UW-Whitewater; UW-La Crosse; UW-River Falls; UW-Eau Claire; and UW-Stout.

UWRF has accumulated 60 wins in the last three seasons for the best three-year stretch in program history. Head coach Jeff Berkhof enters his 13th season with a career record of 167-151.

Senior guard Clay Seifert of Prescott is the leading returning scorer after averaging 9.2 points per contest and adding a team-high 76 assists and 33 steals, while junior guard Matt Keller produced 7.6 points per game. Seifert and Keller each made 34 three-point field goals.

Senior Austin Heidecker and junior Julian Jackson also return after averaging 6.4 and 4.5 points, respectively.

The Falcons will open the season this Saturday, Dec. 10 in Pella, Iowa against Central College.

Warhawks picked for women's hoops crown

UW-Whitewater, the defending conference champion, has been tabbed to win the 2018-19 WIAC women's basketball title, based on a preseason poll conducted by the league's head coaches and sports information directors.

UW-Whitewater is followed in the conference predictions by UW-Eau Claire; UW-Oshkosh; UW-La Crosse; UW-Stevens Point; UW-River Falls; UW-Stout; and UW-Platteville.

Derek Staley will serve as the interim head coach at UWRF, replacing Cindy Holbrook, who finished as the program's all-time winningest coach with 251 wins. Prior to joining the Falcons, Staley was the head coach at UW-Marathon County.

Junior forward Crystal Pearson is the Falcons' leading returning scorer after producing 9.8 points per game and finishing fourth in the WIAC with a .529 field goal percentage in 2017-18. Senior forward Taylor Paulsrud is also back after averaging 5.3 points and 2.5 rebounds a year ago.

The Falcons will open the season against Gustavus Adolphus College this Friday, Nov. 9, at 5 p.m. at Don Page Arena. They will visit Lakeland University Saturday, Nov. 10, and travel to Carleton College Tuesday, Nov. 13.

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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