Unbeaten Bombers roll past Tigers

GRIFFIN GOTTSACKER (10) of Howards Grove and an unidentified Kohler player battle for the ball in Thursday’s soccer match. – Review photo by Greg CeilleyGRIFFIN GOTTSACKER (10) of Howards Grove and an unidentified Kohler player battle for the ball in Thursday’s soccer match. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley
KOHLER – The Kohler Blue Bombers dominated possession en route to an impressive 5-0 boys soccer win over the Howards Grove Tigers here Thursday afternoon.

The Bombers upped their Big East Conference record to 4-0 (11- 0 overall). The Tigers dropped to 5-1 in the BEC (7-4-3 overall). Kohler defeated HG at the start of the season but the match was considered nonconference.

Kohler led 22-9 in shots on goal at Thursday’s match. The Bombers’ attack was led by Nick Wandschneider who scored two goals which gave his team a 2-0 lead in the first half. Leo Fink’s goal gave Kohler a 3-0 halftime lead.

Colin Hogan made a penalty kick to give Kohler a 4-0 lead early in the second half. Joe Kay scored the Bombers’ final goal.

“We struggled to sustain any possession continuity today against a very good Kohler team. Kohler was able to stay connected with each possession and stringing seven or more passes with each other constantly,” said Tiger head coach Bob Peterson.

“We struggled to string two or three passes in each possession before we would lose the ball.

“I give Kohler a lot of credit as they outplayed us in every aspect off the game. We need to play a lot more aggressive and produce way better possessions if we want to beat team like this.

“Austin Bender made some incredible plays in the goal as he was pounded at from Kohler’s offense,” said Peterson.

Bender made 16 saves.


Peterson thinks the Tigers have a good chance to finish in the top four in the BEC. The BEC has four new members this season for boys soccer – Sheboygan Falls, New Holstein/Elkhart Lake- Glenbeulah, Kiel and Manitowc Roncalli/Two Rivers who were in the Eastern Wisconsin/Packerland Conference last year.

“We need to bring our ‘A’ game every night [in the BEC] but I really like how hard we prepare and the commitment these guys have to our program,” said Peterson.

Oostburg is the defending BEC champion. NH/EL-G won the EW/Packerland last year but graduated several key players.

“I think the same teams who stood at the top of the division [BEC] last year – Sheboygan Christian/Lutheran, Oostburg and Kohler – will be the teams to beat again,” said the coach.

“I think our experience and overall depth at many positions will help carry us through the tougher parts of our schedule. We have eight returning starters from last year’s team and our whole offensive players are back,” said the coach.

The Tigers finished 8-5-1 in the BEC and 9-9-1 overall last season. HG returns three All- BEC players, led by senior midfi elder Peter Grimm, a first-team pick. Senior goalie Austin Bender was on the second team and junior forward William Rautmann made honorable mention.

“Our immediate goal is to keep improving every day and hit our peak when it matters. Obviously, we feel we can contend for the conference title, and make a deep playoff run,” said Peterson.

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