Two quick scores helped stake the Polar Bear varsity soccer team to a lead that they would never relinquish in a 4-1 win over the Merrill Blue Jays on Tuesday, Oct. 14, in a WIAA Division 2 Regional semi-final matchup.
Anders Carlson got things started with a goal at the 2:50 mark on an assist from Stefan Hartz. Jonathan Quale followed with a goal at the 9:35 mark on an assist by Jake Buhler.
Merrill answered with a goal by Riley Sutton at the 24:33 mark, and the Blue Jays continued to pressure the Polar Bear defense throughout the remainder of the first half.
Carlson started the second half the same way he started the first half, scoring just 4:18 into the second half on an assist by Hartz.
Carlson completed the hat trick with his third goal at the 53:48 mark on another assist by Hartz, giving the Polar Bears a 4-1 lead.
Hortonville goal keeper Mason Guyette had six saves, while Merrill’s Ben Medley had 16 saves.
With the win, the second seeded Polar Bears advance to a WIAA Division 2 Regional final against third seeded Wausau East. That game will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, at Akin Field in Hortonville.