Panthers open regional play with strong win

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


SAM MEYER, Plymouth goalie, hits the ground to stop a shot by Kaukauna’s Claire Engmann (7) in Thursday’s regional soccer opener. Plymouth’s Kaitlyn Heyrman (23) helps defend. Looking on are Plymouth’s Brooklin Willoughby and Kaukauna’s Sarah Hulvey. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley SAM MEYER, Plymouth goalie, hits the ground to stop a shot by Kaukauna’s Claire Engmann (7) in Thursday’s regional soccer opener. Plymouth’s Kaitlyn Heyrman (23) helps defend. Looking on are Plymouth’s Brooklin Willoughby and Kaukauna’s Sarah Hulvey. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley KAUKAUNA – The Plymouth Panthers played a complete match as they earned an impressive 3-0 win over Kaukauna in Division 2 girls regional soccer first-round play here Thursday afternoon.

PHS played aggressive defense, dominated in possession, displayed precise passing, had excellent teamwork and received strong goalkeeper play. The Panthers led 13-6 in shots on goal, including an 8-2 edge in the first half when they pounded the goal several times.

The No. 5-seeded Panthers improved to 13-6-1. The Galloping Ghosts, who finished only 4-11-1, were surprisingly a No. 4 seed.

“Our possession was maintained throughout the field. I liked how we were able to reverse the point of attack and hold the ball for extended periods of time,” said Panther head coach Brad Feick.

The eventual winning goal was scored by sophomore Ellie Welsch who blasted a shot from about 35 yards out over Kaukauna goalie Taylor Douglas. Douglas had moved out from the goalie box after clearing the ball which Welsch ended up fielding and then shooting. The goal gave PHS a 1-0 lead with 4:55 left until halftime.

The Panthers added a pair of goals in the second half. Nuria Cervera’s goal off a give-and-go play with Kalei Hering made it 2-0 13:48 into the second half. Hering was credited with an assist.

Kaylee Koenig gave PHS a 3-0 advantage when she scored on a give-and-go pass from Hering with 7:37 remaining, with Koenig kicking the ball into the right corner. Hering got the assist.

“Our defensive back-four [Lizzy Francis, Brooklin Willoughby, Brooke Frederickson and Kaitlyn Heyrman, along with Sarah Morris] played a very solid game. Kaukauna’s main threat was No. 7, Claire Engmann, and we quickly adjusted in order to lock her down on the left side. Kaitlyn did a great job slowing her attack,” said Feick.

“Our goalkeepers, Taylor Heyrman and Sam Meyer, did an outstanding job. Both made key saves in their respective halves to earn the shutout. It was a very good performance for both keepers.”

Heyrman played goalie in the first half and made two saves. Meyer was in the goal in the second half and had four saves. Douglas made 10 saves.

“Our outside mids did a great job recovering defensively and assisting our defense’s weak side. Their coverage really freed up our defenders to focus on the play in front of them,” Feick observed.


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