The Richland Center Hornets soccer team ended a six-year title drought here at Avitus Ripp Field Thursday afternoon.
The Hornets edged the Dodge-Point Dodgers, 1-0, to conclude as trong finish to the regular season.
Dodge-Point held a one-half game lead on the Hornets heading into the finale. The Dodgers were 9-2 while coach Joe Stadler’s Hornets were 8-2-1. The teams had split two prevous battles, so the rubber game determined the league title as well as series winner.
On a warm October afternoon, Zander Rothering’s goal off a pass from Kyle Breininger in the second half proved the only scoring.
After the Hornets had one goal nullified by offsides and misfiring wide, high and left earlier in the second half, the Hornets’ high scoring sophomores collaborated on the goal at 58:17.
Goalkeeper Cole Hamilton and the backline of Ross Beier, Matt Maclay, Tyger Rothering and Daniel Bradford kept Dodge-Point surrendered several corner kicks but no goals. Late in the second half, Hamilton preserved the shutout with a kick save.
The win gave the Hornets a 10-9-1 regular season record after a 2-5 start. It was the Hornets’ fourth straight win.
The emotional win for coach Joe Stadler had little carryover effect as WIAA D-2 regional tournament action began Tuesday.
The Lodi Blue Devils ousted the Hornets, 5-0, at Lodi in a rematch of a battle which the Hornets won on penalty kicks a year ago.
Matt Bulovsky scored two goals to lead Lodi.
Midway through the first half, Bulovsky scored at 27:32. The score remained, 1-0, until the Blue Devils unleashed a flurry early in the second half. Lodi scored three times in less than five minutes to take command. Bulovsky scored again and then Steinbach netted two.
The Hornets managed only two shots on goal.