KNOW YOUR OPPONENT: BATEAUX FC
WHO ARE THEY?
Bateaux FC were founded in 2019, playing their inaugural season as Eau Claire Heat. The club was formed to participate in the newly founded Wisconsin Primary Amateur Soccer League (WPASL) by combining Eau Claire's top recreational teams, Heat FC and EC Boys. In 2020, the club re-branded to Bateaux FC and have been a perennial power in the WPASL. The club has won the last two WPASL titles (2020, 2021) and star player Josh Balsiger, currently playing for Med City FC (NPSL), was named WPASL MVP in 2020. The club is very involved in the Eau Claire community, working with and supporting local charities and social groups to boost their club's presence in the Chippewa Valley-area.
HOW DID THEY DO LAST YEAR?
Bateaux FC competed in the Wisconsin Primary Amateur Soccer League during the 2021 season. Bateaux FC finished the regular season in second place with an 8-2-0 record, and then beat 1-seed Hayward Wolfpack FC 2-1 (AET) in the WPASL Championship Game to secure their second Primary Cup trophy in as many years.
Bateaux FC have accumulated a 6-5 record this year, with their only league loss coming to Lobos FC. The league's current leading scorer, David Ripplinger, plays for the club.
HISTORY AGAINST BATEAUX FC:
HWFC trail the all-time series against Bateaux FC with a 3-6-0 record. The last match between the squads was in 2021 with Bateaux taking home a 2-1 AET win in the WPASL Championship Game.
CONNECT FOUR DERBY HISTORY:
The Connect Four Derby came to be during the COVID pandemic. While no soccer could be played, Bateaux and the Wolfpack played a game of virtual Connect Four on Twitter. The friendly banter of this game caught the attention of several soccer figures, including Smallworld Soccer, who covered the incident on one of their podcasts. The clubs decided to name their rivalry after the event, and soon the most unique trophy in lower league soccer, a golden connect four trophy, was born. The teams have played for the trophy for three years. Only regular season games counting towards the trophy, ties going to the aggregate score, with Bateaux winning in 2019 and the Wolfpack in 2020 and 2021.
WHERE CAN WE FIND THEM?
You can find Bateaux FC at bateauxfc.com or on Facebook (ECAS Bateaux FC), Twitter (@BateauxFC) and Instagram (@bateauxfc)