Waupaca is heading to the sectional round of the state girls’ soccer tournament.
The Comets handed Kewaskum a 4-3 overtime loss June 1 in a Division 2 regional final after opening tournament play May 30 with a 5-1 win over Waupun.
Waupaca, seeded No. 3 in its bracket, will play No. 2 Winneconne at 4:30 today (Thursday) on the Wolves’ home field in a sectional semifinal. The winner of that game will advance to a sectional final at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8, in North Fond du Lac, probably against top-seeded Appleton Xavier. Waupaca 4,
Kewaskum 3 (OT)
Kewaskum trailed 3-0 at halftime, but forced overtime with three unanswered goals in the second half. Waupaca’s Mikaila Johnson broke the tie three minutes into overtime with an unassisted goal.
Johnson, Anna Abrams and Lizzi Hanke scored for Waupaca in the first half, while Holly Johnston had an assist and Sierra Patzke chipped in with two.
An hour-long rain delay began 13 minutes into the second half with the Comets still up 3-0.
The Indians got back in the game with three goals in a 15-minute span. Shannon Miller found the net twice and teammate Jeray Riffel tied the game with nine minutes remaining in regulation.
“We did not come out very well after the rain delay,” coach Mark Polebitski said. “We lost track of Shannon Miller and she made us pay with two goals and an assist. We fixed things after regulation time and came out with a good attitude in the OT to seal the win.”
Jocely Barraza set up the game-winning goal by chipping a ball to Johnson, who won the ball and fired a shot that rebounded off of goalkeeper Emily Koller. Johnson returned the rebound for goal.
“We didn’t play tight enough defense after the rain delay,” Polebitski said. “Kewaskum got the momentum for about 15 minutes and to their credit, forced the overtime. The girls handled Kewaskum pretty well in overtime and kept the ball pressed in their end. Mikaila was determined to finish with a win and she did.”
The Comets outshot the Indians 21-8.
Waupaca 5, Waupun 1
The Comets held a 2-0 lead at halftime on unassisted goals from Johnson and Patzke in the game’s first eight minutes.
Neither team scored again until Johnson found the net off of an assist from Barraza two minutes into the second half. Waupun answered with a goal a minute later from Cassandra Taylor, but Waupaca added an unassisted goal from Hanke and Johnson’s third goal off of an assist from Patzke.
“We showed good ball possession and patience,” Polebitski said. “A great number of good scoring opportunities were created throughout the soccer match. Sierra and Jocely did an excellent job controlling the middle of the field.”
Waupaca outshot the Warriors 31-11.
“Winning a regional championship is special and this is the second regional championship for a number of the girls on the team,” Polebitski said. “Now it’s on to Winneconne, a fast, physical soccer team. We will have to bring our A game to compete with the Wolves.”