PLATTEVILLE — The COVID-19 pandemic could only contain the Platteville/Lancaster girls soccer team, it couldn’t stop it.
The Hillmen were unable to defend their 2019 Southwest Conference title a year ago, when the entire 2020 season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last Tuesday, coach Brandon Pink’s Platteville/Lancaster co-op put the finishing touches on a fifth straight SWC title with a dominating 10–0 victory over visiting River Valley.
Junior forward Izzy Condiff scored a hat trick in the first half, giving the Hillmen an 8–0 lead on an assist from junior Kasey Hammill.
Senior co-captain Madi Brainbridge scored the first goal in the 11th minute on a pass from fellow senior co-captain Abby Wagner, and scored again in the 19th unassisted.
Wagner (29th minute), sopomore Brooke Von Glahn (37th) junior Anna Murphy (41st) also scored in Platteville/Lancaster’s eight-goal first half.
Sophomore sisters Sophia Stone (47th minute) and Skylar Stone (55th) each scored on penalty kicks in the second half before the match ended 10–0 after 60 minutes via the mercy rule.
The Hillmen (9–2–1 overall) improved to 7–0–1 in the SWC to clinch the outright conference title over second-place Dodgeville/Mineral Point, which finished 6–3–1 in league play.
Platteville/Lancaster’s SWC match at Prairie du Chien (0–9, 0–8 SWC) was cancelled due to a lack of players for the Blackhawks. It was deemed a no contest.
Last Thursday’s SWC match with Galena/River Ridge (2–6) was also cancelled and deemed no contest due to the Pirates already beginning the Illinois playoffs.
The Hillmen outscored their eight conference opponents 46–2 in eight SWC matches en rout to a fifth straight conference title.
“I think it goes to show the attention to detail we had and our ability to come to every conference match we have ready to go,” said Hillmen head coach Brandon Pink. “It’s kind of tough to balance those conference matches because I try to scheduled some really tough non-conference matches, so jumping back to a conference match after a tough non-conference match; it could be easy to lose your focus. But outside of the one Dodgeville match, no one was really close to us in our conference. The girls were really able to focus in and dominate our conference matches.”
Dodgeville/Mineral Point (7–8–2, 6–3–1) played the Hillmen to a 0–0 draw Tuesday, May 25 despite being outshot 38–1. Sarah Johnson made 23 saves to keep the Dodgers in the match.
“We were coming off a five-game week the week before and we looked like walking zombies,” said Pink. “There keeper played an outstanding match, but we were tired, our forwards couldn’t make any runs and we were unable to finish any of our opportunities.”
Platteville/Lancaster closed out the regular season Saturday afternoon with a 6–0 loss at undefeated Sauk Prairie (11–0), the eighth-ranked team in Division 2.
“Sauk is an incredible team,” said Pink. “They have played so really, really good competition and have not allowed a single goal all year. They are ranked highly in Division 2 and I think they have a chance to win a state title. We held them at arms length and didn’t allow their first goal until the 30th minute, but they are an incredible side. From a skill and speed standpoint they were a tough match up so the 6–0 final score wasn’t a bad result for us. It was a lot closer than most of their opponents. We got to learn a lot about ourselves and gain some experience playing a really good team.”
Ellery Apel broke the scoreless deadlock in the 32nd minute, and Katelyn Fishnick and Olivia Paukner added goals later in the first half to give the Eagles a 3–0 halftime advantage.
Sophomore Jenna Pistono scored a pair of second half goals and assisted on another.
Platteville/Lancaster will now host Cambridge/Deerfield (1–7–2) in a WIAA Division 3 regional semifinal Thursday at 7 p.m.
With a win, the Hillmen would advance to host either #3 Evansville (9–4) or #6 seed Monroe (1–8) in a D3 regional final Saturday.
“This is the best positioned I have been with the girls team to make a deep run in the playoffs,” added Pink. “I do think Cambridge/Deerfield will be a tough game even though it’s a 2–7 matchup. If we are fortunate to get by Cambridge/Deerfield we match up well with Evansville, who would be our likely opponent in Saturday’s regional final.
“Then would likely face Sugar River, a team we lost to 1–0 in a preseason scrimmage so we would like our chances. We are chomping at the bit and we recognize there is a real opportunity to go deep in this year’s playoffs. We are focused and eager to seize that opportunity and make a strong run.”
Platteville/Lancaster 0, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 0
(from Tuesday, May 25 @ Platteville)
Dodgeville/Mineral Point..0 0 — 0
Platteville/Lancaster..........0 0 — 0
First half — none.
Second half — none.
Saves — P/L: Leah Hammill 1, D/MP: Sarah Johnson 23. Total Shots — P/L: 38, D/MP: 1.
Platteville/Lancaster 4, Monroe 2
(from Friday, May 28 @ Monroe)
Platteville/Lancaster...3 1 — 4
Monroe...........................0 2 — 2
First half — P/L: Meagan Hall,; Izzy Condiff; Condiff.
Second half — P/L: Abby Wagner (PK) 65:00; M: Kristen Imogen (PK) 51:00; Karli Boll (83:00).
Saves — P/L: Leah Hammill 1, M: Kaelyn Welch 13. Total Shots — P/L: 17,M: 3.
Platteville/Lancaster 10, River Valley 0
(from Tuesday, June 1 @ Platteville)
River Valley...................0 0 — 0
Platteville/Lancaster...8 2 — 10
First half — P/L: Madi Bainbridge (Abby Wagner) 11:00; Izzy Condiff (Bainbridge), 13:00; Bainbridge 19:00; Wagner (Skylar Stone) 29:00, Condiff (Bainbirdge) 30:00; Brooke Von Glahn (Anna Murphy) 37:00; Murphy 41:00; Condiff (Kasey Hammill) 44:00.
Second half — P/L: Sophia Stone (PK) 47:00; Skylar Stone (PK) 55:00.
Saves — P/L: Leah Hammill 2, RV: Vivien Jensen 16. Total Shots — P/L: 33, RV: 3.
Sauk Prairie 6, Platteville/Lancaster 0
(from Saturday, June 5 @ Prairie du Sauk)
Platteville/Lancaster...0 0 — 0
Sauk Prairie...................3 3 — 6
First half — SP: Ellery Apel (Katelyn Fishnick) 32:00; Fishnick (Olivia Paukner) 35:00; Paukner (Alexis Klemm) 43:00.
Second half — P/L: Naomi Breunig (Jenna Pistono) 49:00; Pistono (Faith Holler) 52:00; Pistono (Breunig) 54:00.
Saves — P/L: Leah Hammill 14, SP: Erelyn Apel. Total Shots — P/L: 2, SP: 23.