Key player suffers ankle injury
By Scott Bellile
The New London girls’ soccer team’s first-ever sectional final ended with an injury and no state trip after a 6-1 loss to Ashland on Saturday, June 13.
New London junior Marina Solberg put the first point on Rice Lake High School’s scoreboard with a goal 17 minutes into the game assisted by Maddie Sanderfoot.
But Sanderfoot’s assist was overshadowed 40 minutes later by a fall on the turf that injured her ankle. Head Coach Joe Messina stated after the game Saturday the initial diagnosis was a sprained ankle but said on Monday that it could be a fracture.
In the time between Solberg’s goal and Sanderfoot’s injury, New London accidentally scored two own goals at the 22 minutes and 54 minutes, and Ashland put in its first at 57 minutes.
In the 71st minute a referee made a call against New London for a push from behind in the penalty box. Ashland scored its penalty kick to bring the score to 4-1.
“Once you get to 4 to 1 and Maddie Sanderfoot out, you know it’s going to be just hard,” Solberg said after the game.
Ashland scored two more goals at 73 minutes and 84 minutes to finish out the game. Ashland (22-3-1) plays Notre Dame (19-5-3) Thursday, June 18 in Milwaukee at the state semifinal.
New London finished the season with a 13-10-1 record.
“It’s still a little pitiful because we know we could’ve went to state,” Solberg said walking off the field. “We had a good enough team, too. Right now it just feels like you lost. Obviously it’s still a huge accomplishment, but it’s still pitiful.”
Messina said Ashland is a great team that deserves credit but the score did not reflect how hard New London’s played at their first sectional tournament trip in history.
“I’m very proud of these girls,” Messina said. “They did something no other New London team has done, both boys and girls. I’m very proud of the way they played. You’re always sad when you lose when you walk off in the final, but someone’s gotta lose, someone’s gotta win.”
New London 5, Mosinee 0
Two days before the sectional final in Rice Lake, New London players were in higher spirits after defeating Mosinee 5-0 at a home sectional semifinal on Thursday, June 11.
The scoreboard read 0-0 for the first half of the game but Emma Davidson dominated with a trio of goals between 53 minutes and 78 minutes.
“[In the] second half when Coach said, ‘Well, this is going be the seniors’ last time playing on this field,’ it really hit me,” Davidson said. “It kind of made me go out there and do it myself.”
Solberg knocked in the fourth goal at the 82-minute mark with an assist from Sanderfoot and Kassy Hoewisch capped the game with the fifth goal at 85 minutes.
Messina said Mosinee played great defense, but he also had confidence in his players through the scoreless first half into the second.
“We had a lot of shots on goal, but we really couldn’t finish well,” Messina said. “Come the second half, Emma really stepped up, put a couple in that we really needed. Once we got up 3-nothing, it kind of fell into place for us.”