It’s hard to score on Waupaca goalkeeper Josee Waitrovich.
Three girls’ soccer teams learned that lesson the hard way May 11, as Waitrovich didn’t allow a goal in three games to help the Comets win the 18th annual Comet Invitational at Waupaca High School.
Waupaca’s wins included a 3-0 win over Mosinee in the tournament opener, a 1-0 decision over Marshfield and a scoreless tie with Menasha in the championship game that the Comets ended up winning in a shootout.
Waupaca also picked up a 3-2 nonconference win May 9 at New Holstein.
Waupaca 3, Mosinee 0
WAUPACA – Sierra Patzke and Mikaila Johnson found the net for Waupaca in the first half off of assists from Lizzi Hanke, while Johnson added an unassisted goal in the second half.
Waupaca outshot the Indians 13-3.
Waupaca 1, Marshfield 0
WAUPACA – Patztke came up with the game’s only score on a goal from 15 yards out with less than two minutes to go in the game. Hanke tackled the ball away at midfield and played a quick pass Patzke, who fired a shot that sailed over the Tiger’s goalkeeper.
Waitrovich finished with 18 saves, while the Comets managed nine shots on goal.
Waupaca 0, Menasha 0
WAUPACA – Neither team scored in regulation. The shootout went to the eighth player, Waupaca’s Holly Johnston, who scored on the penalty kick.
Waitrovich came up big for the Comets in the championship game, according to coach Mark Polebitski.
“She made a great extension dive in the first half and two super saves in the shootout,” he said. “She kept us in the game.”
Menasha had a 12-7 shot advantage.
“We experienced a little bit of everything in that last game,” Polebitski said. “It started out windy and cloudy and by the end of the first half, the sun was shining. Five minutes later at the start of the second half, it was snowing. At the end of the game, the sun came back out. On top of that, the game was tied and went to penalties, going all the way to the eighth shooter. The wind did funny things to the ball for both teams during the penalties. The balls bent more than normal, but Holly found the laces and ripped a shot to the left post, putting Waupaca up 3-2 in the end.”
Patzke also played a big role in winning the tournament, Polebitski said.
“The link from defense to offense is getting better every game due to Sierra’s play in the middle of the field,” he said. “With every game, she becomes more confident and effective in a very tough role. Her shot to win the game against Marshfield was super. We started to gain momentum with four minutes left to go in the match. In the second to last minute of the game, Sierra won a ball and fired a great shot from outside the area into the crosswind. It was an exciting way to end the game.”
“We used the strengths of every player on the team,” Patzke said. “It felt good to win the tournament.”
“We worked as a team, never gave up and kept shooting the entire three games,” Johnson said. “Josee kept us in the game with three great saves in the Menasha game.”
“Josee kept us in the Menasha game with a great extension dive in the second half,” Polebitski said. “She kept the opponents out of the back of net all day long. He three shutouts earned her the MVP award on the day.”
Waupaca 3, New Holstein 2
NEW HOLSTEIN – Johnson scored twice and Hanke also found the net in a win over the Huskies.
The teams were tied 2-2 at halftime and Johnson came up with the game-winning goal unassisted.
Maleva Butkiewicz and Patzke had assists in the game, while Waitrovich stopped 10 of New Holstein’s 12 shots.
“The team is playing its soccer of the year right now on all sides of the ball,” Polebitski said. “Offensively, we are creating solid scoring opportunities in every match. Defensively, we are making our opponents work to get off the good shot. Saturday was our best outing of the season.”