Wildcat booters earn top seed, move on to regional play
The Wildcat girls' soccer team put the finishing touches on its Big Rivers Conference championship season with a 2-1 victory over Rice Lake May 27. Now comes the next challenge.
The Cats, who ended the regular season with a record of 13-1-3, earned the No. 1 seed in this week's WIAA Division 1 regional and will host No. 8 Superior (3-18-0) in a regional semifinal 5 p.m. June3. A win would keep them at home for the regional final June 5 against either No. 4 Chippewa Falls or No. 5 Menomonie.
After a tie and a loss in their previous two contests, the Wildcats regained their winning ways May 27 on Senior Night.
"We once again had a lot of shots sail wide and a few passed literally bounce through our legs right in front of the goal," Wildcat coach Steph Nelson said. "But the shots are slowly but surely getting closer."
Sophomore Bailey LaPoint scored the only goal of the first half on a blast from nearly 40 yards out that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down across the goal line. Junior Sarah Vitale picked up an assist.
After dominating possession in the first half, Nelson said the Cats started slowly after intermission, which led to Rice Lake tying the score nine minutes in.
But the Cats picked things up after that, and with about five minutes remaining, Junior Emily Blasius crossed a ball from the end line which bounced off the post to a wide open Ella Bump, and the senior redirected the ball across the goal line before the Rice Lake keeper could get to it.
"It's not exactly how I wanted the game to go," Nelson said. "We need to figure out how to score again before regional start. But at least we have sole ownership of the conference championship."