By Nick Beversdorf
It has been said before but it’ll be said again: the recent weather has sucked. Nobody knows this better than the varsity girls soccer team. After a tough 3-0 loss last to Mosinee last Tuesday (April 5th), the lady Bluejays lost both games at their invite this past Saturday. In addition to the girls not yet being able to practice outside, Wisconsin Rapids, the invite location, had received about 2 inches of snow the night before, making for very terrible field conditions that almost prevented them from playing.
The girl’s first opponent was Northland Pines, who scored 2 goals within the first 12 minutes. The girls were able to counter with 2 well-placed goals around the 20-minute mark to tie the game, but unfortunately NP was able to score a goal at the 34-minute mark that pushed the score in their favor. The second half would see no scores.
“The first half was pretty crazy; all five of the goals were scored then,” comments head coach Stephanie Nelson. “Pines went up 2-0 after only 12 minutes of play, but then at almost the 20 minute mark, Mae Litschauer scored a beautiful left-footed goal off of a pass from Emily Page from a huge defensive win from Allison Winter-Reed. About 10 minutes later, Mae Litschauer kept her dominance rolling and passed a ball off to Brianna Grosskurth who snuck it by both the keeper and defender to tie the game up. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hold the tie for long as Pines got their go-ahead goal at the 34 out of 40 minute mark. One of their goals was not a very well-earned goal, so in my mind the game was still a loss, but at least not a bad one.”
The second half had become an impasse with both teams not being able to secure the ball long enough to make any progress. For the remainder of the game the ball mostly stayed in the center of the field.
“Second half, we didn’t get a whole lot of opportunities and neither did they,” adds Nelson. “It seemed like the ball was being bounced around in the middle of the field with both teams shutting each other down before we could really get anything going. In the end, Pines won 3-2, and out-shot us 21 (8 shots on goal) to 5 (2 shots on goal). Our on goal shot to goal percentage was pretty good, so we just need to get our other shots to get on net to make us a little more deadly.”
The second game against Eau Claire North was a lot less sloppy and a lot more aggressive, even though it ended in 3-0 shout-out loss.
“Our second game we played a little more athletic and a whole lot more aggressive defensively. We held our own despite the sound of a 3-0 loss. Gabby Schlegel snuffed out quite a lot while tallying up 16 saves on the game. We had only a handful of opportunities with five total shots and three on goal, but I feel that compared to the first game, we were a lot more poised and connected a lot more passes. The girls played a lot less sloppy and looked pretty decent against a lot more skilled of a team. In the end, North had 29 total shots (19 on goal), and two goals in the first half, one in the second half.”
Despite the girl’s record dropping to 0-3, coach Nelson still likes what she is seeing and and is confident that more practice, especially outside, will help the girls as the season progresses.
“I like what I’m seeing out of our play. In the past we weren’t skilled enough to play more of a passing game, but now the girls are moving well with each other and passing pretty decently. We just need to clean up some of our skills, but that will come once we’re able to actually practice outside, hopefully sometime this week before we have to play the D1 state champs DCE.”
The next game is scheduled for this Thursday, April 14th at 4:30 versus DC Everest @ the MARC.