RICHLAND CENTER — The Platteville/Lancaster boys soccer team took an important rebound step after a 2–1 double overtime loss to Dodgeville in the Aug. 22 season opener.
The Hillmen bounced back with a 3–2 victory over two-time defending SWC champion Richland Center on Thursday.
Lancaster junior Clay Vesperman scored an unassisted goal in the that helped the Hillmen (1–4, 1–1 SWC) play to a 1–1 draw in the first half, despite what coach Brandon Pink called “a sluggish first half.”
Two-time defending SWC Player of the Year Zander Rothering evened the match at one with an unassisted goal in the 22nd minute.
“We put one in early, but we were really sluggish in the first half,” explained Pink. “Fortunately Richland Center played poorly in the first half. We got a false sense of security after that first goal. We played much better in the second half.
Platteville freshman Ying Xiong snapped the tie with a well-placed shot in the 54th minute. He corralled a pass in an open pocket in the middle of the field, beat one defender off the dribble, then fired a scoring shot from 23 yards out.
Lancaster senior Owen Hauth scored the eventual game-winning goal five minutes later on a breakway goal, assisted by freshman defender Hans Chavez.
Chavez chipped a long pass over the Center defense in transition. Hauth ran on to the ball and beat the Center keeper one-on-one for a 3–1 advantage.
Center’s Kyle Breiniger scored in the final 30 seconds of the match and Platteville/Lancaster held on for its first win of the season.
Lancaster senior Nate Holzinger made five saves to earn the win in net.
Saturday the shorthanded Hillmen dropped an 8–0 non-conference decision at Belleville.
Platteville/Lancaster played most of the match without defenders Nate Roling (bruised shin) and eshoua Xiong (strained quad). Both are expected to be full strength this week.
Senior Mitchell Delorme scored three goals, all in the first half, while sophomore Kevin Zimmer had a goal and an assist in first 40 minutes.
Platteville/Lancaster returns to action Thursday at home against Monroe.
Richland Center 2
(from Thursday, Aug. 29 @ Rich. Center)
Platteville/Lancaster 1 2 — 3
Richland Center 1 1 — 2
P/L: Clay Vesperman 3:00; RC: Zander Rothering 22:00.
P/L: Ying Xiong 54:00; Owen Hauth (Hans Chavez) 59:00; RC: Kyle Breininger 79:00.
Saves: P/L: Nate Holzinger 5; RC: Jake Wegner 4. Shots on goal: P/L: 7, RC 7.
(from Saturday, Aug. 31 @ Belleville)
Platteville/Lancaster 0 0 — 0
Belleville 5 3 — 8
B: Kevin Zimmerman 7:00; Mitchell Delorme (Zimmerman) 9:00, Delorme 24:00, Nehemiah Noriega 29:00, Delorme 39:00.
B: Dillon Hustad (Nathaniel Sanders) 44:00; Nick Gabel 46:00; Sanders 56:00.
Saves: P/L: Nate Holzinger 15; B: Alex Ubelacker 3. Shots on goal: P/L 3, B 23.