Tigers keep BEC lead with outstanding win


KATIE GUSE of Howards Grove attempts to get the ball under control as Ozaukee’s Brooke Bares closes in during Tuesday’s soccer match. – Photo by Terry Schaller KATIE GUSE of Howards Grove attempts to get the ball under control as Ozaukee’s Brooke Bares closes in during Tuesday’s soccer match. – Photo by Terry Schaller HOWARDS GROVE – The Howards Grove Tigers took a huge step toward winning the Big East Conference girls soccer title with an impressive 4-0 triumph over Ozaukee here Tuesday afternoon.

The win was the Tigers’ second straight over Ozaukee (HGHS defeated the Warriors 2-1 on Friday). Both teams are battling for the BEC championship along with Oostburg.

HGHS leads the league with an 8-0-1 record, followed by Oostburg at 7-0-2 and Ozaukee, 6-2. The Tigers improved to 9-2-1 overall and the Warriors slipped to 7-3.

“Now we have to just continue with this pace. The girls have to come together and continue to focus if they want to stay atop the Big East Conference. The target is on their backs now, so we will see how they react to the pressure,” said Tiger head coach Kasey Smith.


KAYLA GILLIGAN of Howards Grove tries to advance the ball downfield with Ozaukee’s Jill Gabriel (18) and Abby Miller in pursuit at Tuesday’s soccer game. – Photo by Terry Schaller KAYLA GILLIGAN of Howards Grove tries to advance the ball downfield with Ozaukee’s Jill Gabriel (18) and Abby Miller in pursuit at Tuesday’s soccer game. – Photo by Terry Schaller HGHS built a 2-0 halftime lead on goals by Emma Dehne and Brittany Schaller, respectively. Kaitlynn Near assisted on Schaller’s score.

The Tigers broke the game open with two goals in the second half. Near scored the first one, assisted by Malayna McDaniel. Katie Guse finished off the scoring.

The Tigers dominated on the attack – holding a 20-4 edge in shots on goal. HGHS goalie Olivia Stauss made four saves and Warrior goalkeeper Autumn Smith had 16.

“Brittany Schaller [junior] gave us a huge spark tonight. Had we finished the crosses she sent in during the first half we really could have walked away with this one,” said Smith.

“She moved around from insidemid to outside-mid and was able to get past their defensive line several times. She has the speed to get past anyone if they give her the space.

Kaitlynn Near [junior]] was able to hold the ball and make some great penetrating runs – pulling defenders and then finding open players for shots on goal. She had a great game and continues to make a strong case for keeping her at forward,” said the coach.

“Defensively our girls played shutdown defense. I think we only gave up one shot on goal the first half and limited them to one corner kick on the game. The hustle from my back line and their confidence working together is growing.”


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