Bulldogs win first regional title
By Scott Bellile
The Bulldogs not only ended their regional final 20 minutes early in a blowout 11-1 win against Amherst/Iola-Scandinavia on Saturday, June 6, but they also set a team milestone.
“This is the first time ever that we’ve won regionals for girls’ soccer, actually,” Bulldogs’ top scorer Marina Solberg said. “So I’m super, super stoked.”
The soccer team will play its first-ever sectional semifinal at home against Mosinee on Thursday, June 11, at 7 p.m.
As far as their regional milestone, the girls can partially give credit to the WIAA for bumping New London soccer down from Division 1 to Division 3 in 2013. But strong play was a major part of the picture on June 6, as the ball spent little time on New London’s side of the field.
New London landed three goals within the first 15 minutes of the game before the Thunder-Falcons’ Kilawee Rowen scored 17 minutes in. After that setback the Bulldogs launched four more balls into Amherst/Iola-Scandinavia’s net during the first half and four in the second half. The game ceased 70 minutes in due to the 11-1 score.
Coach Joe Messina said he remained cautious before declaring the game theirs despite New London’s continuously-growing lead.
“I always try to make sure,” Messia said. “I didn’t really start subbing a lot of people until the sixth goal mark.”
“You always want the biggest lead you can get,” Solberg said.
Solberg led the team with three goals. Emma Davidson and Maddie Schroeder each had two, and Lili Gould, Kassy Hoewisch, Shania Krake and Maddie Sanderfoot each scored one.
Sanderfoot and Solberg each had two assists and Erika Dorow had one.
Goalie Elizabeth Tank had four saves and allowed one goal.
Solberg, who has scored 30 goals this season and the most goals per season of anyone Messina has coached, said it is not time yet for the Bulldogs to settle for their accomplishment.
“Right now [my teammates are] like, ‘Oh, we did it.’ I’m like, ‘No, we’ve still got two games,’” Solberg said. “Right now my eyes are on every game. … Ultimately state is our final destination, so we’ll see. We’ll have to play hard every game.”