Wildcat booters simply dominatingIt’s hard to track down specific statistics regarding the history of girls’ high school soccer in Wisconsin, but it’s difficult to imagine any team matching what the Wildcats have accomplished so far this season.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
It’s hard to track down specific statistics regarding the history of girls’ high school soccer in Wisconsin, but it’s difficult to imagine any team matching what the Wildcats have accomplished so far this season.
The Cats have outscored their opponents by a staggering margin of 81-1 while compiling a record of 18-0-1 with 18 shutouts. Their latest two victories came in the regional round of the WIAA playoffs last week and earned them a regional title while running their winning streak to 15 games in a row.
River Falls defeated New Richmond, 3-0, in a regional semifinal Thursday and blanked Hudson, 4-0, in Saturday’s final to advance to this Thursday’s sectional semifinal against Eau Claire Memorial at Wildcat Field at 5:30 p.m.
The Old Abes accounted for the only Wildcat goal allowed this season in a 1-1 tie back on April 21.
“We are excited to play Eau Claire Memorial on Thursday,” Wildcat coach Charles Conley said. “It will be quite a showdown amongst two very talented teams.”
Last Thursday the Cats got a pair of goals from Sarah Vitale and another from Tara Frey in a 3-0 win over New Richmond. Taylor Kizlik and Jenna Kizlik each had an assist as the Cats scored all three of their goals in the second half while holding New Richmond without a shot.
“New Richmond did a good job of really packing it in and we struggled to find the net for the first 58 minutes of the match,” Conley said. “We saw numerous opportunities and took a number of shots, we just could not find the net. Finally in the 58th minute, we broke through and were able to tack on two more before the final whistle blew.”
Conley said the Cats played much better in their 4-0 win over Hudson on Saturday. River Falls outshot Hudson 25-4 and controlled the game for the majority of its 80 minutes.
“I hope that this doesn’t sound cocky by any means, but we knew if we played our best that they could not beat us,” Conley said. “Turns out, we played probably our best match of the year. We have really started to fire on all cylinders and I think it showed in this game.
Vitale and Taylor Kizlik had a pair of goals each in the win and Jenna Kizlik, Hanna Lillvis and Nichole Ullom each had an assist while goalkeeper Page Meyer recorded the 18th shutout of the season.
Despite their impressive record and statistics, the Wildcats have been largely overlooked in the state rankings this season, earning a spot in the honorable mention category just two weeks ago. Conley said the team is determined to show the rest of the state what it is capable of in the upcoming sectional round.
“We want the challenge of facing the top teams to prove that we belong and we are for real this season; that our record isn’t a fluke and our goals for and goals against average are legit,” he said. “We talk about it all season: If we lose a game to a team better than we are so be it, as long as we gave our best. However, we think that we can play with anybody in the state this season, and are excited for the challenges that lie ahead.”
The winner of Thursday’s sectional semifinal between River Falls and Eau Claire Memorial will play either D.C. Everest or Marshfield in the sectional final Saturday at 4 p.m. at Wausau East High School. The winner of that game earns a berth in the WIA State Soccer Championship Tournament beginning Thursday, June 16, in Milwaukee.