MAUSTON — A 20-minute “bad spell” cost the Platteville/Lancaster girls soccer team a chance at a sectional title.
Second-seeded Mauston scored three goals in early in the second-half and held on for a 3–2 victory in a WIAA Division 3 regional final Saturday evening.
“We knew going into the game that this was going to be one of the best contests we’ve had all season,” said Hillmen head coach Brandon Pink. “The girls had the right mentality, though, and we really showcased what we can do in this game. We were the better team for three quarters of the game. We had a bad spell at the beginning of the second half where some girls had to come off with minor injuries, and Mauston capitalized with three quick goals.”
Lancaster senior Bri Hampton scored on a corner kick late in the first half when a Mauston defender and goalie ran into each other on the play, giving the Hillmen a 1–0 halftime lead.
Lindsey Harvey scored on an assist from Rylie Honold five minutes into the second half to even the match.
Then with Hillmen goalie Sami Knockel on the sideline briefly, Kailey Miller scored unassisted in the 57th to give the Golden Eagles a 2–1 advantage. Hannah Colloway scored on a free kick in the 69th minute to make it 3–1.
Platteville/Lancaster responded just 20 seconds later when junior Sami Brookens found the back of the net, but the Hillmen — despite several chances — couldn’t score the equalizer in the final 20 minutes of play.
“At the end of the day, Mauston took their chances, and we were unfortunate to not have several of our own big chances end up in the back of the net,” added Pink. “We’re obviously shattered to lose such a close game, but we’re also proud to have represented ourselves so well on such a big stage. The ladies have lots of reasons to hold their heads high.”
Brookens hat trick leads Hillmen to regional semifinal win over Melrose–Mindoro
Last Thursday, Brookens scored all three goals in a 3–2 regional semifinal victory over visiting Melrose–Mindoro/Gale–Ettrick–Trempeleau.
Brookens scored in the 21st minute to give the Platteville co-op and early 1–0 lead, but the Mustangs (6–7–2) notched a pair of goals late in the second half to reclaim the lead.
Lexi Ruffi scored in the 41st minute to even the match, then with 30 seconds left in the half Gabi Ruffi took advantage of a Hillmen defensive miscommunication to give the sixth-seeded visitors a 2–1 halftime advantage.
The Hillmen responded to a halftime tongue-lashing from coach Pink and tied the match on a Brookens goal in the 58th minutes. The talented junior scored the eventual game-winner roughly 10 minutes later.
Last Tuesday the Hillmen closed out the regular season with a 5–0 non-conference loss at Sauk Prairie (6–10–3). Platteville/Lancaster finished 13–6–2 overall, after going a perfect 10–0 in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference in the first season under Pink.
“At the beginning of the season the ladies chose the motto ‘new beginnings, expect the impossible’ as their team motto,” said Pink. “I’m glad they chose that, it’s been so fitting for our season. With so many new factors, this was a blank slate for the ladies. I told them that they had a fantastic opportunity to put their stamp on a new season, and to set the tone for the program moving forward. Every person, from the coaches, to the reserves players, to the parents, played their part. The seniors, especially, have really set the bar high. We feel like we missed an opportunity in losing the regional final to Mauston, but we haven’t lost sight of the accomplishments and strides we’ve made. I’m so proud of the ladies for what they’ve done this season, and equally optimistic for the program moving forward.”
Hampton, Madi Knockel, Frenchy Bisi, Anna Musarra, Raven Herlitz and Pauline Justal all played their final match for the Hillmen on Saturday.
Sauk Prairie 5, Platteville/Lancaster 0
(from Tueday, May 31 @ Sauk Prairie)
Platteville/Lancaster 0 0 — 0
Sauk Prairie 3 2 — 5
Scoring Summary not available
WIAA Division 3 Regional Semifinal
Platteville/Lancaster 3, Melrose–Mindoro/GET 2
(from Thursday, June 2 @ Platteville)
Melrose–Mindoro 2 0 — 2
Platteville/Lancaster 1 2 — 3
First half — P/L: Sami Brookens 21:00.; MM: Lexi Ruffi 41:00; Gabi Ruffi 44:00.
Second half — P/L: Brookens 58:00, Brookens 69:00.
Saves — P/L: Sami Knockel 5; MM: Vanessa Ponterio 19. Shots on Goal — P/L: 22; RC: 7. Corner kicks — P/L: 4, MM: 3.
WIAA Division 3 Regional Final
Mauston 3, Platteville/Lancaster 2
(from Saturday, June 4 @ Mauston)
Platteville/Lancaster 1 1 — 2
Mauston 0 3 — 3
First half — P/L: Bri Hampton 41:00.
Second half — M: Lindsey Harvey (Rylie Honold) 50:00, Kailey Miller 57:00, Hannah Colloway 69:00; P/L: Sami Brookens 70:00.
Saves — P/L: Sami Knockel 9a, Natalie WInger 1; M: Abby Williams 7. Shots on Goal — P/L: 9; M: 13. Corner kicks — P/L: 4, M: 5.