Panthers seize third straight ECC crown


MASON DALE of Plymouth shoots past Berlin’s Austyn Rodensal in Thursday’s ECC soccer match. – Photo by Doug Pierce MASON DALE of Plymouth shoots past Berlin’s Austyn Rodensal in Thursday’s ECC soccer match. – Photo by Doug Pierce BERLIN – The Plymouth Panthers won their third consecutive East Central Conference boys soccer championship with a 1-0 win over host Berlin Thursday afternoon in round three of uppe rdivision play in the ECC Tournament.

Junior forward Keegan Gafney scored the winning goal 14:46 into the first half on an assist from senior forward Garrison Pierce.

PHS, which has won seven in a row, finished with a league-best 8-1-1 record. Kettle Moraine Lutheran (Jackson) took second at 7-1-2, followed by Waupun, 7-2-1. KML and Waupun tied, 2-2, in round three of the upper division on Thursday. If the KML Chargers would’ve defeated Waupun, they would’ve been co-ECC champions with PHS.

Berlin finished 3-7 in the ECC and fell to 11-11 overall.

“A difficult game against a motivated Berlin. We tried every way possible to score more against Berlin and we couldn’t,” said Panther head coach Rommy Herrera whose team ended its regular season at 13-3-2 overall.

ANTHONY VARGAS (right) of Plymouth and an unidentified Berlin player race after the ball in Thursday’s ECC soccer match. – Photo by Doug PierceANTHONY VARGAS (right) of Plymouth and an unidentified Berlin player race after the ball in Thursday’s ECC soccer match. – Photo by Doug Pierce
PHS dominated on offense with a 19-3 advantage in shots on goal. Panther goalie Gabe Thull made three saves.

“This is a very important game for us to learn and move on. Now it’s time to get ready for playoffs. Our team has been working very hard this season and now we can start seeing how all the hard work is paying off.

“Our first goal was to get the No. 1 seed [in regional play] and we did. Our second goal was to win conference and we did as well. Now our last two goals are to make it to state and win it,” said Herrera.

PHS will host the winner of the Kiel/Luxemburg-Casco match in the Division 3 regional semifinals Thursday at 4 p.m.


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