Waupaca still looking for first win
By Greg Seubert
Close, but not close enough.
The Waupaca girls’ soccer team dropped a pair of 1-0 games May 13 to Kingsford, Michigan, and Northland Pines at the 22nd annual Comet Invitational at Waupaca High School.
Waupaca also dropped a recent 4-2 decision to Mosinee.
Kingsford 1, Waupaca 0
The Flivvers outshot the Comets 8-1.
Northland Pines 1, Waupaca 0
Pines outshot Waupaca 6-3.
“As a team, the girls played better than in our previous matches,” coach Mark Polebitski said. “Our first touch and passing showed improvement. The sport all goes back to the first touch. Having a good first touch is the key to ball possession. Along with that is the confidence the players develop through ball control. This is something we work on everyday in practice. The process is slow, but it is beginning to pay off.”
Waupaca’s defenders put constant pressure on the ball in both games, Polebitski said.
“Jamie Slattery, Lily Sletten, Shyla Koshollek and Jocybeth Barraza challenged every ball in their proximity,” he said. “The defensive pressure forced the opponents to rush play and make mistakes. The object is to not let the opponent get a good look at the goal and these four defenders did just that today.
“We moved the ball relatively well today compared to our previous matches,” he added. “Robin Miller played a number of balls behind their last defenders to set up some really great scoring chances upfront. At the start of the Kingsford game, Ava Schwenn was setup by the midfield and broke past the last defender and fired a shot just inches wide of the net. If that ball goes in, then the whole match changes.”
Mosinee 4, Waupaca 2
A 2-1 lead turned into a 4-2 defeat for the Comets May 5 in Mosinee.
The Comets had its first lead of the season, but gave up three unanswered goals and dropped the nonconference game to the Indians.
Mosinee opened the scoring with a goal at the 10-minute mark, but Schwenn tied the score 15 minutes later. Her first shot came off of the sweeper and Schwenn put the rebound in for the score.
Schwenn also assisted on Madie Gile’s goal at the 54-minute mark, but Mosinee answered with three goals, including one on a penalty kick.
“Ball possession was more confident and patient today,” Polebitski said. “The midfielders set up Madie on a couple of breaks. We need to use her speed in the future matches.
“The girls set up some great opportunities on the offensive side of the ball,” he said. “We missed two breakaways with shots just wide of the goal.”
Mosinee outshot the Comets 16-9 and goalkeeper Kylie Hiddemen made 12 saves.
“A couple mistakes defensively led to two of their goals and that, coupled with a questionable hand ball, made things challenging,” Polebitski said. “It was by far the best outing of the season against a very good Mosinee club.”
The Comets returned to North Eastern Conference play May 16 against Clintonville.
“The team is getting better with each match,” Polebitski said. “We just keep reminding ourselves that it is not how the team begins the season, it is how the individuals and team improves throughout. The girls come to practice with a good work ethic and it is starting to show.”