Tigers’ season ends with heartbreaker

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


EMILY SCHMID of Howards Grove attempts to score as teammates Malayna McDaniel (10) and Carlie Stauss look on in Thursday’s sectional soccer match versus Ozaukee. The Ozaukee goalkeeper (right) is Autumn Smith. – Photo by Terry Schaller EMILY SCHMID of Howards Grove attempts to score as teammates Malayna McDaniel (10) and Carlie Stauss look on in Thursday’s sectional soccer match versus Ozaukee. The Ozaukee goalkeeper (right) is Autumn Smith. – Photo by Terry Schaller FREDONIA — It was a shame there had to be a losing team in Thursday night’s epic battle between the Howards Grove Tigers and the Ozaukee Warriors in Division 4 girls sectional soccer semifinal action.

These Central Lakeshore Conference rivals scratched and clawed their way for 110 minutes in rainy, cold weather before the Warriors emerged the victor with a 2-1 win in a shoot-out. The match was tied 0-0 through 90 minutes of regulation play and 1-1 after one overtime period. Following a scoreless second overtime, the game was decided on penalty kicks.

The Warriors advanced to Saturday’s sectional finals where they lost to host New Holstein, 1-0, giving the Huskies (14-5-5) a state berth. Karissa Preston kicked the winning goal. Ozaukee ended its season with a 19-3-2 record.

“Our game versus Ozaukee was a tough match and we just did not convert in the shoot-out on our shots,” said Tiger head coach Kasey Smith whose young team finished the season 17-4-3.

“Those shoot-outs are brutal for fans and coaches but the players have all the pressure and after 110 minutes of play it is a hard way to end the season.”

In the shoot-out, each team had five players who attempted kicks from the penalty mark. The only Tiger who scored was sophomore Kaitlynn Near with a ball into the left corner of the net which tied the score at 1-1. HGHS then missed its final three shots.

Junior Kait Paetzke scored the winning goal on the final attempt in the shoot-out. Paetzke’s shot was perfectly placed as it went high into the upper-left corner of the net out of sophomore goalkeeper Olivia Stauss’s reach.

Bridget Hoffmann gave Ozaukee a 1-0 lead in the shoot-out with a ball into the lher team’s first shooter.

Stauss made two excellent saves, including a diving one, and Warrior goalie Autumn Smith had an outstanding diving save in the shoot-out.

“Olivia Stauss came up huge again in the shoot-out with two remarkable saves. She did as much as you can ask from from a keeper our last two games,” said Smith.

“She will be a great leader for this team and will be someone that helps our future success.”

In the regional finals, Stauss was crucial in the Tigers’ 3-0 shoot-out win over Oostburg.

Sophomore midfielder Emily Janke gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at the 3:49 mark in the first overtime when her shot hit the top of the crossbar and bounded into the net.

The Tigers answered quickly when senior midfielder Morgan Edge scored on a header off an outstanding corner kick by sophomore defender-midfielder Katie Guse at the 4:56 mark.

HGHS attacked well in the second overtime and nearly won it on a free kick by Guse which was just wide left at the 9:39 mark.

Both teams had scoring opportunities in regulation but couldn’t quite finish. Stauss and Smith also made fine saves. Guse contributed a huge play on defense when she thwarted a breakaway by Janke in the 30th minute which resulted in the ball going out of bounds.

“I feel that our best opportunity to take control of this game was the first 20 minutes or so of the second half. We had complete control and possession but just didn’t finish during that time when we really needed to,” Smith noted.

“In overtime, Ozaukee struck first but our girls on the field and from the bench started screaming to stay in it and strike back quickly. We talked about this and the girls converted on a great corner, finished on a header by Morgan Edge.”


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