Hodag boys to make first-ever trip to state soccer tournament
FOR THE STAR JOURNAL
Bob Mainhardt photos
It has been an exciting week for the Hodag boys soccer team players and fans. Last Thursday the Hodags traveled to Medford for a sectional semi-final after defeating Lakeland at home for the regional title Oct. 22.
Medford opened the scoring in the first half by putting up two goals in the first 11:23 minutes of the game. The Hodags came back about 17 minutes later and scored two goals just over a minute apart to knot the score going into the half at 2-2. Goals were scored by Mason Shinners in close by beating the goalie to the ball and then Matthew King would put one in a corner from about 40 yards out.
The second half and two more 10 minute periods would still leave the score at 2-2 to turn the game over to a shootout, a repeat from the game against Lakeland.
Keeper Cooper Radke would turn away two attempts to give the Hodags the shootout win and earn a trip to Rice Lake for the sectional final. The last time the Hodags were in a sectional final was 2008 and failed to advance.
The Hodags met the Rice Lake Warriors on their own field and like the previous two tournament games the teams would play 80 minutes of regulation and then two extra periods with no scoring and force another shootout, the third in a row.
After the first five shooters from each team the score was tied 3-3 with a bit of controversy as someone blew a loud horn distracting both goalie and shooter and the officials declared the shot did not count, taking the win away from Rice Lake as the ball was shot into the net. On the second attempt the Rice Lake player hit the crossbar to force a sudden death shootout where the first miss would give the other team the win.
Kyle Wiese was the first Hodag to shoot in sudden death and again someone sounded the loud horn and distracted Wiese and the Warrior keeper. After some delay attempting to find out where this was coming from, Wiese was given another shot and this time hit the middle of the net as the keeper guessed to Wiese’s left to give the Hodags a 4-3 lead. Rice Lake’s Sam Jevne then took his turn and Cooper Radke guessed the shot was going to his right and guessed correctly as he stopped the ball from going in giving the Hodags the program’s first ever trip to the state tournament with the first game at 4:30 Friday in Milwaukee.