The Waupaca girls’ soccer team is one win away from its first-ever trip to state.
Mikaila Johnson came up with the game’s only goal June 6 in the Comets’ 1-0 Division 2 sectional semifinal win over Winneconne on the Wolves’ home field.
Waupaca will now face Appleton Xavier at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8, in a sectional final at North Fond du Lac High School.
Winneconne had handed Waupaca an Eastern Valley Conference loss earlier in the season and came into the game with a 15-1-1 record. Waupaca improved to 12-5-1 with the win. Although the Wolves outshot the Comets 9-5, Winneconne wasn’t able to find the net.
Johnson’s goal came in the game’s 14th minute. Lizzi Hanke tackled the ball away from a Winneconne player at midfield and found Sierra Patzke, who played a ball between the last two defenders for Johnson. Johnson finished the play with a low shot to the post.
“The goal started with Lizzi coming back from up front to put some pressure on the ball,” coach Mark Polebitski said. “She found Sierra, who played a great through ball to Mikaila. Her finish was superb.”
Comet goalkeeper Josee Waitrovich recorded the shutout.
Winneconne’s best chance to score came three minutes after Johnson’s goal, but Michelle Walker’s penalty kick sailed to the left of the goal after the Comets’ Anna Abrams was whistled for a handball in the penalty area.
“It was a great high school soccer match from the tap to the final whistle,” Polebitski said. This was our best effort of the season, offensively and defensively.