PRAIRIE DU CHIEN — The Platteville/Lancaster girls soccer team is on a roll.
Coach Brandon Pink’s club remained unbeaten in Southwest Wisconsin Conference play with three straight league victories in an eight-day stretch.
Senior Sierra Hooper scored fours goals to lead the Hillmen (6–3, 4–0 SWC) to a commanding 5–1 victory at Prairie du Chien on Thursday, April 18.
Hooper scored twice in the opening five minutes and Platteville/Lancaster never trailed.
The Blackhawks (1–6–1, 1–2–1) fired back with a goal from Grace Pedretti later in the first half, but the Hillmen defense — lead by Lancaster senior Abby Whitford only allowed one Prairie du Chien shot in the match. The Blackhawks struggled to even gain possession in Hillmen territory during the final 45 minutes.
Hooper scored late in the first half to make it 3–1, the Lancaster senior Lydia Murphy scored on a pass from freshman sister Anna Murphy early in the second half.
Hooper concluded the scoring with an unassisted goal midway through the second half to account for the final score.
Last Tuesday, Platteville Lancaster scored a key 3–2 victory over second-place Dodgeville/Mineral Point in a tense, back-and-forth match.
Lydia Murphy scored the game-winning goal with less than five minutes remaining, lifting the Hillmen to victory in a battle for first place.
Hooper gave the Hillmen the early lead, with an assist from Alexis Thompson, 4:24 into the match.
The Dodgers evened the match at a goal apiece on Savannah Jones’ unassisted goal in the 20th minute, but Hooper set up Jaelyn White late in the first half to give the Hillmen a 2–1 halftime edge.
The second half was a defensive struggled, played mostly in the midfield, until Dodge–Point tied the match 2–2 on Jenna Niemeier’s unassisted goal in the 77th minute.
Platteville/Lancaster outschot the Dodgers 8–4 in the match. Leah Hammill made two saves in the victory.
The Hillmen stayed unbeaten in league play with a 3–1 victory over visiting Richland Center last Thursday afternoon.
The teams played to a scoreless draw in the first half as a steady downpour soaked the field.
The Hillmen had several scoring chances in the opening half, but were unable to finish.
Whitford and Richards anchored the defense, that held the Hornets scoreless on three first-half shots.
Hooper broke the scoreless tie, with a pass from Lydia Murphy, early in the second half.
Thompson made it 2–0 later on with a long shot from the wing.
The Hillmen offense continued to pressure the Hornets, and Richland Center knocked in an own goal to make it 3–0.
The Hornets broke up the shutout with a goal by Celine Hernadez-Garcia.
“We're very proud and excited about our recent run of wins,” said Hillmen head coach Brandon Pink. “Winning conference is always a top priority for us, so to get ourselves in pole position early in the season moves us closer to that goal. Having had a lot of success in the past few years, we know that we go into every conference game with a target on our backs and that we'll get every team's best effort. It's tough to deal with that game in and game out, and our girls have had a very good mentality to deal with that. Kudos to them.”
Friday’s match at River Valley was postponed and will be made up May 16 at 5 p.m.
Platteville/Lancaster will travel to Lodi Thursday afternoon for a non-conference match, before hosting Galena/River Ridge Friday to begin the second round of conference play. Reedsburg comes to Platteville Tuesday for a non-conference showdown.
“Although we've won our games, I'd say these actually weren't some of the best performances I've seen this group give,” added Pink. “We've been dealing with several injuries and illnesses and we've had to adjust to that. We've won despite that, though, and winning when you're not playing your best is a really important attribute. I credit our seniors, and especially our captains, Abby Whitford, Lydia Murphy, and Sierra Hooper, for making sure the group stays focused.”
Platteville/Lancaster 5, Prairie du Chien 1
(from Thursday, April 18 @ Prairie du Chien)
Platteville/Lancaster 3 2 — 5
Prairie du Chien 1 0 — 1
First half — P/L: Sierra Hooper (Madi Bainbridge), Hooper; PdC: Grace Pedretti.
Second half — P/L: Hooper, Lydia Murphy (Anna Murphy), Hooper.
Saves — P/L: 0, PdC: Kierstyn Rogers 2. Shots on Goal — P/L: 7, PdC: 1. Corner kicks — P/L: 5, PdC: n/a.
Platteville/Lancaster 3, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 2
(from Tuesday, April 23 @ Platteville)
Dodgeville/Mineral Point 1 1 — 2
Platteville/Lancaster 2 1 — 3
First half — P/L: Sierra Hooper (Alexis Thompson) 4:24, Jaelyn White (Hooper) 40:31; PdC: Savanah Jones 19:11.
Second half — P/L: Lydia Murphy 85:37; D/MP: Jenna Niemeier 76:59.
Saves — P/L: Leah Hammill 2; D/MP: Alexis Sommerfield 5. Shots on Goal — P/L: 8, D/MP: 4. Corner kicks — P/L: 2, D/MP: 2.
Platteville/Lancaster 3, Richland Center 1
(from Thursday, April 25 @ Richland Center)
Richland Center 0 1 — 1
Platteville/Lancaster 0 3 — 3
First half — none.
Second half — P/L: Sierra Hooper (Lydia Murphy), Alexis Thopmson, Own goal; RC: Celine Hernadez-Garcia.
Saves — P/L: Leah Hammill 1; RC: Cadence Starkey 9. Shots on Goal — P/L: 12, RC: 2. Corner kicks — P/L: 8, RC: 0.