This year’s Bluejay varsity soccer squad has certainly taken their share of lumps this season, but each win and loss was a hard fought fight to the finish.
On the flip side, with each hard earned win, the ladies are making history. They left a few more marks in the books over the last two weeks, tallying up five wins on the season with their second shutout of the season on May 9 with a 1-0 victory over Wausau East in WVC action, followed by a powerful 5-1 drubbing of Antigo on Saturday, May 13. In game two of the Antigo invite, the Jays made a threepeat of shutting out their opponents with a 7-0 dusting of Phillips; capitalizing on a 6-0 dousing of the Loggers earlier this season.
“This was a comprehensive victory for the girls,” comments head coach Kyle Hahn. “It took us a little while to find the back of the net, but we couldn’t stop scoring once we did. Our passing and possession was much better and we always looked to be a threat going forward. We had four different players score in the second 60-minute game of the day with Hunter Zecca grabbing a hat trick and Journey Smith adding to her day’s tally with a brace. Bri Grosskurth and Mae Litschauer both grabbed a goal each and dished out some assists, as well.”
Heartbreak in the Valley
Unfortunately, sometimes with the good comes the bad. The Jays got a rather heavy handed dose of this in losses to Marshfield and Stevens Point last week; 3-2 and 7-0.
Sophomore Goalie Kaylee Bowe combined for 24 saves on the week.
“In all honesty, Marshfield was an ugly game for us,” Hahn said. “We came out flat and seemed a bit unwilling to put in the effort and focus that was needed to get a result against a similar Valley opponent. Maybe on a different day, under different circumstances we might have gotten a better result. The girls were well aware that they’re capable of playing much better and we’ll continue to work on finding consistency from game to game as we head into this season’s final weeks.
“Mae Litschauer bagged both goals on the day, bringing her Valley Conference goals total up to four. Kate Peterson provided an excellent assist on the second goal just seconds before the game ended after going on a lung-busting run with less than 15 seconds left to play. It was a bright spot of play in an otherwise dreary game and served as a great reminder of what is needed to compete at the varsity high school soccer level and also what this team is capable of when they apply themselves.”
“A tough game against a quality Valley opponent,” Hahn adds. “We had a pretty decent first half and were two minutes away from going into halftime down by only one goal, but an unlucky deflection off a SPASH shot saw that deficit rise to two. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to replicate our first half performance and had a bit of trouble marking runners which gave SPASH a number of open looks. Kaylee Bowe had her work cut out all game and came away with 18 saves even after giving up seven goals. There were stretches when we moved the ball well, but a heavy touch here and errant pass there kept us from producing a significant threat in front of goal.”
Blanked by the Raiders
Friday evening the ladies welcomed Eau-Claire Regis/Chippewa Falls McDonnell for a non-conference bout at Jay Stadium; falling 2-0 to the Raiders.
Bowe came away with 13 saves on the night.
“This game was a bit of a head-scratcher,” Hahn adds. “We had trouble all night with basics; connecting passes, movement off the ball, getting the ball out of our feet, tracking runners, etc. Kaylee Bowe did a good job keeping us in the game the first half. It was just an odd sort of night. Normally, we have more heart and effort than we know what to do with, but we just couldn’t seem to summon it against Regis and ended up paying for it. An unfortunate result, but we won’t dwell on it as we’ve got one last conference test in Rapids and then playoffs to look forward to.”