Big second half keys Panthers’ win in regional opener

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


MATT MATZ, Plymouth defender, dribbles toward the Brown Deer goal as the Falcon goalkeeper Ryan Hudson looks on during Tuesday’s regional soccer first-round match. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley MATT MATZ, Plymouth defender, dribbles toward the Brown Deer goal as the Falcon goalkeeper Ryan Hudson looks on during Tuesday’s regional soccer first-round match. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH — An aggressive attack paid off for the Plymouth Panthers as they held off Brown Deer, 3-2, in a Division 3 boys regional soccer tournament firstround match here Tuesday afternoon.

The No. 4-seeded Panthers, 16-4-2, move on to the finals Thursday, Oct. 17 at No. 1-seeded Pewaukee at 7 p.m. The Pirates, 18-0-2, are ranked No. 1 in the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association D-3 poll. They routed St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (Delafield), 10-0, in the first round Tuesday.

“I am really proud of how the team showed up to play this game today. Our goal was to be the most effective during the time we were in,” said Panther head coach Rommy Herrera.


MICHAEL BOLLAND (20), Plymouth midfielder, tries to maintain possession as Brown Deer’s Ben Schwartz (left) and Craig Schimenz converge in Tuesday’s regional soccer opener. Plymouth’s Cole Karczewski (left) and Zach Gambrell close in. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley MICHAEL BOLLAND (20), Plymouth midfielder, tries to maintain possession as Brown Deer’s Ben Schwartz (left) and Craig Schimenz converge in Tuesday’s regional soccer opener. Plymouth’s Cole Karczewski (left) and Zach Gambrell close in. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley “The starters and players from the bench responded well and we had a great game today. Everyone did their job.”

PHS dominated possession and had the ball in its offensive end of the field most of the match but was unable to dent the No. 5-seeded Spartans’ defense until the second half when it exploded for three goals. The Panthers led 5-0 in shots on goal in the first half but the game was tied 0-0 at halftime.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on a goal by senior defender Matt Matz eight minutes into the second half. Matz dribbled along the left end line and attempted a shot which deflected off a Spartan defender and into the net.

The goal was huge because it forced Brown Deer to open up the field to try to create more scoring opportunities and not be as defensive oriented. The Panthers took advantage as they passed the ball well to attack the goal, with senior midfielder Jack Heginbottom following up a shot and scoring from close range. Sophomore midfielder Ryan Holec had the assist as PHS built a 2-0 lead in the 58th minute.

In a desperate attempt to get their offense going, the Spartans pulled their goalkeeper Ryan Hudson up to the offensive end. The move paid off as Hudson scored off a corner kick in the 69th minute which cut Plymouth’s lead to 2-1.

The Panthers responded with a goal by senior midfielder Corbin Dewey with 8:25 left to up their lead to 3-1. Brown Deer had again pulled its goalkeeper to try to score but PHS quickly worked the ball downfield and Dewey was able to beat a lone defender and then hit a shot into the far corner of the net.

Brown Deer (9-13-1) shaved Plymouth’s lead to 3-2 when Hudson, who again was pulled out of his goal, scored off a corner kick with about seven minutes remaining. Hudson’s shot hit the crossbar but the ball bounced down and just barely across the goal line for the score.

PHS staved off the Spartans the rest of the way by controlling the ball in its offensive end of the field.

“We created more and better opportunities to score. During the first half we were possessing and controlling the game. We had many good chances to score but many times we just could not finish,” said Herrera.

“During the second half we scored the first goal and Brown Deer started playing better and taking more risks and they scored two goals off corner kicks. We finished our shots in the second half.”

Herrera thought his team did a nice job of stopping passes to two key offensive players for Brown Deer in Johnny Pierson and Jimmy Pierson.

The Panthers led 9-5 in shots on goal for the game. PHS junior goalie Drew Schweiger made five saves, including a diving one in the 53rd minute. Hudson had five saves.

Herrera is confident his team will play well against Pewaukee.

“We know it will be a tough game but we’ll be ready and focused,” he said.

“The keys will be to be organized on defense, finish our shots and score first.”

BROWN DEER 2

PLYMOUTH 3


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