Merrill kickers closing the gap
The Merrill varsity girls soccer team is making strides this season, following up last Tuesday’s 6-0 home loss to Wausau West with Monday’s 3-1 defeat in Lakeland.
The T-Birds grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first half, but the Bluejays cut it to 2-1 in the 46th minute when Emily Page converted a Hanna Cohrs cross.
“We started slow, played a lot of kick ball and let them score two goals,” MHS coach Steph Nelson said. “So second half they came out on a mission. They passed the ball nicely and had some good scoring drives and we finally got our first goal of the season! Emily Page scored a nice volley off a cross in from Hanna Cohrs, then almost had another one a couple minutes later off a corner kick. Unfortunately Lakeland got another one and we just couldn’t seem to get a shot off even though we had the ball down there.
“It was a nice change in pace though; we actually played a team that was more our level and we were able to work on some issues without the ball being jammed down our throats.”
Clara Schroeder scored all three goals for Lakeland, in the 2nd, 14th, and 53rd minutes.
“While Taylor Hudzinski didn’t have any saves she did stop the ball a lot in non-scoring opportunities,” Nelson said.
Both teams had three shots on goal..
A couple of tough early calls, compounded by strong second-half play from West, doomed the girls to Tuesday’s loss.
“Another wintery day in Merrill and another loss chalked down for the girls,” MHS coach Steph Nelson said. “West out-played us, but we gave them 6-0. I could see maybe 2-0, but this was not what it should have been. We can blame the conditions all day long, but in the end, so could West.
“What it came to was our passing was atrocious, our talk was minimal, and we did the one thing that I used to say we never did–gave up.”
A ball that flew off the bar into goalie Taylor Hudzinski’s hands was ruled West’s first goal and a hand-ball led to a penalty kick for the second and a 2-0 West halftime edge.
“At no point did the ball completely cross the line or even close, but after West started begging for it, the center ref gave the goal to #5,” Nelson said of the opener.
Jessy Wiskofske (3 G, 1 A) and Savannah Felch (1 G, 2 A) paced the Warrior offense. Hudzinski made 11 saves.