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Platteville senior scores hat trick as Hillmen close out 10–0 SWC season
Hooper Athlete of the Week
Senior forward Sierra Hooper scored twice early in the first half of Platteville/Lancaster’s SWC Senior Night victory over visiting River Valley Thursday at UW–Platteville’s Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium. - photo by Photo by Jason Nihles

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.

Sierra Hooper, Sr., F, Platteville/Lancaster girls soccer
     The Platteville/Lancaster girls’ soccer team made it a perfect 10-for-10 and won a fourth straight Southwest Wisconsin Conference title with Senior Night a 6–0 victory over River Valley Thursday at UW–Platteville’s Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium and Platteville senior Sierra Hooper was a major reason why.
     Hooper led the way with a hat trick, scoring twice in the first 14 minutes as the Hillmen (12–4–2) built a 3–0 halftime advantage. Hooper, who leads the team in both scoring and assists, then added a third goal — her team-best 18th of the season — in the first minute of the second half. Hooper scored a goal and had two assists in last Tuesday’s 7–0 SWC victory over Richland Center, and had an assist in a 4–0 win at second-place Dodgeville/Mineral Point, Friday, May 17.
     The sixth-seeded Hillmen (12–4–2, 10–0 SWC) will host #11-seed Mauston in a WIAA Division 3 regional semifinal match today at 4 p.m. at Platteville High School. With a win, the co-op will advance to face mostly #3 Belleville/New Glarus (16–2–4) or #14 Cambridge/Deerfield (1–10–2) in a D3 regional final on Saturday.
     “I’ve been very impressed with our play over the last three weeks,” said Hillmen head coach Pink. “We had a brief slump in the middle third of our season due to some persistent injuries and illness. We were still getting positive results, but we weren’t playing our best. Over the last few matches I feel like we’ve got our mojo back. Last Friday’s match at Dodgeville/Mineral Point (May 17) encapsulated that for me. That game was our third of the week, it was on the road, and it was against a really good side that always comes to play against us. That was the type of game that could have tripped us up, but the girls brought their A-game and controlled that match from start to finish. I get the sense that we’re peaking going into playoffs which is exactly where we want to be.” 

HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):

Ben Guerin, Sr., Cuba City boys’ track and field
     Guerin captured a sectional title in the co-ed wheelchair 400 meters with a winning time of 1:21.78, and added second-place finishes in the 100 (20:93), 800 (2:57.20) and the shot put (21’6.25”) to advance to the WIAA State Track and Field Championships in four events.


Noah Kirsch, Fr., Lancaster boys golf
     The Lancaster freshman shot a 7-over-par 78 to tie for fifth-place at Tuesday’s WIAA Division 3 Madison Abundant Life/Country Day Sectional at The Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove, then won a 3-hole playoff with Barneveld junior Owen Pechand and Osseo–Fairchild junior Sawyer Anderson to earn the fifth-place sectional medal and the third and final individual berth in Monday and Tuesday’s WIAA D3 State Tournament at The Ridges Golf Course near Madison. Kirsch finished third in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference this year to earn first-team All-SWC honors.

Parker Kopp, Jr., Cuba City girls track and field
     Kopp claimed a sectional title in the girls discus and will be seeded first in Division 3 at this weekend’s WIAA State Championship after winning the D3 Bangor sectional with a throw of 120 feet. Kopp suffered a knee injury over the summer and wasn’t able to compete in fall of winter sports.

Kaycie Martensen, Fr., Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg girls track and field
     Martensen ran away with three state berths after winning titles in the 1,60 and 3,200, and adding a runner-up finish in the 800 at last Thursday’s WIAA Division 3 Bangor sectional. She will be seeded first in D3 at this week’s WIAA State Championships both the 1,600 and 3,200 after posting winning times of 5:04.86 and 11:18.92, respectively.

Simon Mitchell, Jr., Mineral Point boys golf
     Mitchell shot a 1-over-par 72 to finish second at WIAA Division 3 Madison Abundant Life/Country Day Sectional to earn his first trip to state. Mitchell was this year’s Southwest Wisconsin Activities League Player of the Year.


Brynlee Nelson, So., Fennimore girls track and field
     Nelson set a pair of school records and advanced to the WIAA State Track and Field Championships in four events at last Thursday’s Division 3 Bangor Sectional. Nelson broke her own school records in the 400 (58:63) and the 800 (2:15.65) to win sectional titles in both events. She also anchored Fennimore’s sectional champion 4x400 relay (4:09.02) and finished fourth in the triple jump (34’10”). 


Cade Rohrbach, Sr., Platteville boys golf
     Rohrbach shot a 6-over-par 78 to place seventh at Tuesday’s WIAA Division 2 Prairie du Chien Sectional to earn the third and final individual berth in Monday and Tuesday’s WIAA State Tournament at University Ridge near Madison. It will be the first trip to state for the three-time SWC Player of the Year. Rohrbach holed out from 123 yards on the Par 4 fifth hole for an eagle to jump-start his even par 36 front nine, but after some early struggles on the back nine, made a birdie putt from just off the green on 17, then made a 4-foot putt for a par 5 on the 18th to earn a trip to state.