A pair of season-ending injuries to starting forwards means the Waupaca girls’ soccer team will close out the season short-handed.
The Comets lost leading scorer Alyssa Nicewander May 16 during the Comet Invitational and Ashley Jeske two days earlier during Waupaca’s 5-0 win over Berlin.
The Comets hosted the 20th annual Comet Invitational, which also included teams from Mosinee, Menasha, North Fond du Lac, DeForest, Marinette, Northland Pines and Kingsford, Mich.
DeForest won the tournament with a 6-0 win over Menasha in the championship game.
Waupaca 1, Mosinee 0
The Comets opened the tournament with a win over the Indians.
Nicewander scored the game’s only goal at the 25-minute mark off of an assist from Amber Van Handel.
“Alyssa made a great shot to win the game,” coach Mark Polebitski said. “She was closed down by two defenders and the keeper, but somehow flicked the ball to the near post that found the back of the net.”
Taylor Korth stopped all 10 of Mosinee’s shots.
“That was an important win for us, as Mosinee is in our region for the WIAA playoffs,” Polebitski said. “Since Mosinee already beat three of the teams in our group and tied with another, that should put us up on the top half of the bracket.”
Menasha 3, Waupaca 1
Maleva Butkiewicz gave the Comets a 1-0 lead 13 minutes into the game off of an assist from Van Handel, but Menasha tied the game three minutes later and added two goals after Nicewander’s injury.
“We were ahead of Menasha 1-0 and were winning the possession game,” Polebitski said. “It was halftime and they did not have a shot on goal. We were playing our best soccer of the season, without a doubt, but things changed in a hurry. When Alyssa went down with an injury, the momentum shifted and we could not muster the energy to come back.”
Kingsford 2, Waupaca 0
The Flivvers got the win with unassisted goals from Carley Schneider and Savannah Martin.
Kingsford outshot the Comets 8-1.
Waupaca 5, Berlin 0
Nicewander scored the only goal of the first half off of an assist from Maddy Frank.
Van Handel found the net twice for the Comets in the second half, while Nicewander and Butkiewicz also scored. Nicewander and Van Handel also picked up an assist in the second half.
Waupaca will host Wausau East at 6:30 tonight (Thursday, May 21) before wrapping up the regular season Thursday, May 28, at Amherst.
“With both starting forwards out, we need to regroup and sort some things out,” Polebitski said. “Our next two opponents are nonconference, so there will be an opportunity to experiment and grow some players into that position.”