Tigers win showdown to keep BEC lead

FREDONIA – Howards Grove grabbed a 2-0 lead only two minutes into the match and held on to edge Ozaukee, 2-1, in a Big East Conference girls soccer showdown here Friday afternoon.

The victory keeps the Tigers in sole possession of first place in a tight BEC title chase. HGHS, which finished second to Ozaukee in the now-defunct Central Lakeshore Conference last year, improved to 7-0-1 in the league (8-2-1 overall).

The Warriors slipped to 6-1 in BEC play (7-2 overall). Oostburg is second in the conference with a 6-0- 2 mark, followed by Ozaukee.

HGHS will host Ozaukee Tuesday, May 3 at 4:30 p.m.

Junior Emily Schmid scored the game’s first goal a minute into the match, assisted by freshman Kate Bruckschen. Schmid’s goal came on a long shot which went into an upper corner of the net.

HGHS went up 2-0 on junior Morgan Wittman’s unassisted goal at the two-minute mark. The Tigers led 2-0 at halftime.

The Warriors got on the board in the 53rd minute when Abby Paulus kicked a goal, assisted by Sam Kroeger.

“It has been a while since Howards has got a win at Ozaukee, so the girls felt great walking away tonight. This gives us a small first-place lead in conference but we will need to prove ourselves as we play Ozaukee again,” said Tiger head coach Kasey Smith.

“Our team captain Zyta Mueller, who is out for the season [with an injury], told the girls before the game that we needed a fast start to find success. We have been talking about being ready to go. Clearly, her words sunk in as we found the net twice in the first two minutes.”

The Tigers held an 11-9 lead in shots on goal. HGHS goalie Olivia Stauss and Warrior goalkeeper Autumn Smith made eight saves each.

“Brittany Schaller had a great game tonight, defensively, as did our back line in Katie Guse, Emily Schmid, Malayna McDaniel, Ashley

Reinemann and Melissa Oxtoby. They limited most of Ozaukee’s chances to deep shots that Olivia Stauss was able to handle in the net,” Smith pointed out.

“We continued to press pretty hard for the remainder of the first half [after taking the 2-0 lead]. After half we started playing not to lose instead of staying aggressive.

“They got one 10 minutes into the second half and then hit the post a few seconds later. I think that fi- nally woke us up and we started to play better soccer the remainder of the half,” said the coach.

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