Pointers' Championship Hopes Dashed in Penalties

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- The UW-Stevens Point women's soccer team (12-2-4) took visiting UW-Eau Claire (9-7-2) to penalty kicks in the semifinal round of the WIAC Championship (presented by Culver's), the Blugolds advanced, 5-4, in the shootout. Both teams played 110 minutes and the match ended in a 0-0 draw before he shootout to decide which team advanced.

UWSP goalkeeper Lexi Pawlowski (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) made seven saves in the match to record her third-straight shutout. The sophomore keeper has not allowed a goal in 354:06 of action.

Pawlowski was tested in the first 10 minutes of the match, keeping the match scoreless with a stop in the 10th minute. Moments later, Olivia Bohnert (Oshkosh, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran) and Maddy Hardyman (Red Wing, Minn./Red Wing) had shots blocked before Pawlowski made another save in the 21st minute.

Freshman Jacqueline Aleman (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) fired three shots on goal over the next 10 minutes, but all three were stopped by the UWEC keeper. Late in the half, UWSP blocked a pair of UWEC shots as the match went to half with no score.

Furious action early in the second half saw both Aleman and Hardyman just missed the net with solid shot attempts. UWEC had a prime opportunity to take the lead, but the close-range header rang square off the post and stayed out.

Senior Kortnee Hass (Johnsburg, Ill./Johnsburg) forced the UWEC keeper to make a save in the 58th minute and had another blocked later in the half. Neither team had a credible scoring threat as regulation wound down.

UWSP had three early shots in the first overtime. Two were blocked and the other was saved by the Blugolds' keeper. Late in the first overtime, Pawlowski made a save to preserve the shutout.

Pawlowski made two saves in the second overtime and the match went to a shootout.

After the first UWEC shooter hit the post, Hardyman and Lexi Ahrens (Appleton, Wis./Appleton East) converted to put UWSP up 2-1. Consecutive misses by the Pointers gave UWEC's fifth shooter a chance to clinch the advance, but Pawlowski was up to the task. Kaitlyn Hess (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Lincoln) extended the shootout by converting. After each team missed, both teams converted in the seventh round. UWEC opened the eighth round with a conversion, but UWSP's final attempt was saved giving UWEC the 5-4 edge to advance.

The Pointers finish the season at 12-2-4 and will await Monday's selection show to see if UWSP gets an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.