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Winona State Holds Of Coast Guard In A Wild Semi

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Winona State Holds Of Coast Guard In A Wild Semi

12 points for Emily Becker Saturday.

Winona State won a barnburner of a Women’s DII College semifinal, holding off an exciting Coast Guard Academy 42-36.

The game was even closer than that with the score 25-24 at 50 minutes and 37-36 with five minutes to go.

As expected, Winona State brought high physicality to the game with centers Emily Becker and Abigail Andler powerful with ball in hand, and prop Madelyn Rabideau helping set the tone in tight. Coast Guard meanwhile, unleashed some impressive pace.

WSU Strike Early

Winona State marched down the field and punched it over though hooker Lindsey Schneeberger for the early lead, and Becker added a penalty goal to make it 8-0 at 16 minutes. 

Coast Guard, however, figured they could outstrip Winona State with speed, and the plan worked on several occasions. Wing Mary Sims rescued a bit of a broken play to race around the edge of the WSU defense to go in at the corner. Fullback Hollis Roush nailed the very difficult conversion and it was a one-point game.

Coast Guard kept moving the ball to the midfield channels and finally that drew in enough Winona defenders that Roush looped around and was off for 60 meters and a 12-8 CGA lead.

It was that sort of game, with Winona State grinding it out a bit more and Coast Guard looking for any possible gap.

105 Meters To Paydirt

Hard work from the WSU forwards allowed Becker to burst through and WSU was in the lead again. Winona State looked poised to score again just before halftime, but Coast Guard’s defense held firm and the combined tackle from Sims and Roush pushed Claire Birk into touch. 

Coast Guard won that lineout five meters from their line and passed the ball all the way down the backline in their own in-goal. Looking for all money like they would be bottled up, the CGA backs broke free. 

Jordon Russell was on the end of that string of passes and put the pedal down for about 65 meters into the WSU half. She was caught by Birk, but not before she offloaded to center Aryanna Jurkowski, who finished off a movement that went through nine pairs of hands and covered over 100 meters. Coast Guard 19 Winona State 13 at halftime.

Two For No. 3

Winona State tidied things up a bit in the second half. With No. 8 Gabriella Calimetti and lock Liana Schallock making big gains, Rabideau crashed over on a tap penalty move. Then defensive pressure from Becker allowed her to steal the ball and pretty much the same penalty move saw Rabideau score again.

Suddenly Winona State was up 25-19.

Sims then went around and up for about 65 meters to answer on Coast Guard’s behalf. But quickly Winona State replied with a try from hardworking flanker Diana Tapia Alverado (who went through a wall of defenders) and Birk (same story) to make it, with Becker converting the second try, 37-24.

Coast Guard had enough time and the ability to come back. Jurkowski scored on a brilliant run through the middle. Following that, concerted pressure and some hot potato got Coast Guard close once more. But the Bears were prevented from scoring under the posts and ended up putting Sims away in the corner. Thus Winona State held on to a slim one-point lead 37-36.

WSU Closes It Out

With time winding down, Coast Guard once again tried to run out of their own in-goal. WSU bottled them up, forced a five-meter scrum, and eventually flanker Julie Lutzen backed up prop Makayla Leraas’s surging carry to pick up and touch down.

This was a wildly entertaining semifinal and an excellent clash of styles between Winona's more considered, forward-oriented approach and Coast Guard’s jet-powered long-range attack.

Winona State’s fitness allowed them to keep up the phase play and defense all the way through, and that was key.

Sunday, against an impressive Colorado School of Mines team, Winona State will need to recover quickly.