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Cougar women fall to Saints in semifinal

The Cougar women's soccer team ended the 2009 season with a 3-0 loss to St. Scholastica in a Upper Midwest Athletic Conference semi-final game in Duluth Tuesday. The Cougars played the No. 1-seeded Saints closely for 65 minutes, until a couple of late goals put victory out of reach.

Scholastica's Angie Groh scored in the eighth minute, but from that point the Cougars neutralized the Saints' offensive attacks.

However, the Cougars had trouble mustering much offense of their own, managing just four shots on goal for the afternoon. Their best opportunity came late in the first half when first-year player Molly Olson's header beat the keeper, but an alert Saints defender swept it out of the box before the ball could cross the goal line.

In the 67th minute, the Saints scored again and then sealed the win with a third tally ten minutes later.

The Cougars end the year with a 10-10 record, just two wins better than last season, but markedly improved in most statistical categories.

This progress did not escape head coach Dan Magner, speaking after the game.

"You look to improve every day and every game and this season I thought we did that," he said.

Scholastica will meet Northland College this weekend in the UMAC final.

Magner, meanwhile, will say goodbye to two talented seniors and start looking ahead to 2010.

"We will miss Maddy [Gerber] and Nina [Jarnot} a lot. You don't replace players like that," Magner said. "But, hey, we have 25 returners, many of whom had an impact this season. I have very high expectations for next year."