Panthers lose tough battle in opener


ELIZABETH BOLLAND, junior goalkeeper, snags the ball during a corner-kick drill at Monday’s Plymouth soccer team’s practice. Bolland made four saves in the Panthers’ 1-0 loss to Grafton Tuesday evening. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley ELIZABETH BOLLAND, junior goalkeeper, snags the ball during a corner-kick drill at Monday’s Plymouth soccer team’s practice. Bolland made four saves in the Panthers’ 1-0 loss to Grafton Tuesday evening. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley MILWAUKEE – The Plymouth Panthers battled to the end but a late goal gave Grafton a 1-0 win in girls soccer action here Tuesday evening at Uihlein Field.

The nonconference match was the season opener for both teams and a rematch of last year’s Division 3 sectional semifinals which the Black Hawks won, 3-0.

Taylor Arnold scored the winning goal in the 89th minute of a 90-minute match.

“It was highly competitive and both teams played well,” said Panther head coach Brad Feick.

“Grafton began the game in control but quickly we assumed possession for much of the first half. I think we came out with a bit nervous but adjusted nicely.

“At halftime, I thought that we had outplayed them, however we just couldn’t make that scoring strike. During both halves we generated scoring opportunities that, as the year progresses, will be converted,” said Feick.

Grafton led 5-4 in shots on goal. PHS junior goalie Elizabeth Bolland made four saves. Grafton goalkeeper Megan Otto was credited with four. The Black Hawks had a 6-2 edge in corner kicks.

“Elizabeth made some great saves. She never hesitated to challenge scoring opportunities by aggressively going after the ball,” said Feick.

“Defensively, we seemed to come together. Brooke Frederickson, Danielle Roelse, Emily Majerus, Kaitlyn Heyrman, and Skyler Gosse began to generate a level of comfort and communication that grew as the game went on.

“Kalei Hering, Olivia Jankowski and Brooklin Willoughby [all forwards] pressured their back three and had a few scoring opportunities between them.

“Kaylee Koenig and Emily Meinnert controlled the defensive midfield well. Hannah Mauk and Carlee Olsen helped stretch the field on the outside,” Feick noted.

“Mauk, especially in the second half, constantly challenged the opponent as both a defender and in the attack. Mathilde Marken- Smenes, Lizzy Francis and Brooke Toutloff gave us a boost throughout the midfield.

“I really thought that the game was going to finish in a tie. Arnold struck the free kick really well which led to the game winning goal,” said the coach.

“The girls should be proud of the way that they played. We came away with a lot of positives.”


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