Panthers win thriller, earn trip to state

¦ Face Delavan- Darien Friday in state semifinal
by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


NOAL WATZKA, Green Bay Notre Dame goalie, grabs the ball as Plymouth’s Anthony Vargas collides with him during Saturday’s sectional soccer finals. Looking on are Keegan Gafney (11) of Plymouth and Alex Ruiz of Notre Dame. — Photo by Doug Pierce NOAL WATZKA, Green Bay Notre Dame goalie, grabs the ball as Plymouth’s Anthony Vargas collides with him during Saturday’s sectional soccer finals. Looking on are Keegan Gafney (11) of Plymouth and Alex Ruiz of Notre Dame. — Photo by Doug Pierce GREEN BAY – The Plymouth Panthers earned the school’s first trip to the boys state soccer tournament since 2010 with a thrilling 1-0 win over host Green Bay Notre Dame Saturday afternoon in a Division 3 sectional final.

The match was scoreless until the second of two 10-minute overtime periods when sophomore midfielder Clayton Lautenschlaeger took a pass from senior forward Connor Joseph and kicked the ball into the upper left corner of the net from about 15 yards out.

“This team has been working really hard all-season long and today finally we can celebrate all that work. I am very proud of every one of them,” said Panther head coach Rommy Herrera who is in his seventh season at the helm.


CLAYTON LAUTENSCHLAEGER is fired up after scoring the winning goal for Plymouth in the second overtime against Green Bay Notre Dame in Saturday’s sectional soccer finals. — Photo by Doug Pierce CLAYTON LAUTENSCHLAEGER is fired up after scoring the winning goal for Plymouth in the second overtime against Green Bay Notre Dame in Saturday’s sectional soccer finals. — Photo by Doug Pierce “They are a hard-working and coachable team with an impressive winning mentality that has been the key to get back to the state tournament after having not been since 2010.”

The state tourney will be held at the Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee. PHS will play Delavan-Darien in the semifi- nals Friday at 4:30 p.m. Plymouth is seeded No. 4 and Delavan Darien, No. 1, for state.

The Panthers, 17-3-2, have won 11 in a row. They were a No. 1 sectional seed. The Notre Dame Tritons, the No. 2 seed, ended their season at 15-11.

“It’s awesome, it’s incredible [going to state]. I was confident I would make the shot. It was a good pass,” said Lautenschlaeger.

“It was incredible [scoring the winning goal]. We never gave up. We kept playing aggressive. I’m very proud of the team,” he said.

“Clayton is a really skilled player. I knew if he got the ball in the right spot that he would be able to make a move and put it in,” said Herrera.

“Today’s game has been the happiest moment of my career as a high school soccer coach at Plymouth High School – being able to see the happiness in all my players’ faces and their parents after a very difficult game against a very good team.”

The Panthers, who had a decided advantage in possession against Notre Dame, led 10-2 in shots on goal but had few open shots against a tough defense. Triton goalie Noal Watzka made eight saves and PHS goalie Gabe Thull had two.

“I’m extremely excited,” said PHS senior defender Nathan Francis. “We’ve played our hearts out this whole season. I love our team.

“It was a tough game – major respect for Notre Dame.

“Clayton is one of our best strikers on the team. We can always count on him,” said Francis.

“It feels awesome. It feels great for the players but I feel great for the coaches. Their [coaches’] work paid off,” said PHS senior forward Garrison Pierce who was referring to coaches who have coached the Panthers at various levels over the years.

“We never gave in to their [Tritons’] game plan. We kept working. I always felt we were going to win,” said Pierce.

“I knew at some point we were going to score and I’m happy that it happened at the right time,” said Herrera.

“I was confident we were going to win. We were the team that had more opportunities to score.

“We’re a team that is strong, offensively and defensively, and we were able to take the ball away from them. They are a very good team and they played well, defensively,” said the coach.


Most recent cover pages:













Poll
POLL: Do you think Elkhart Lake made the right decision in not allowing Strawberry the pot-bellied pig?:

Copyright 2009-2018 The Plymouth Review, All Rights Reserved

Contact Information

113 E. Mill St., Plymouth WI 53073
Local: 920-893-6411 Toll Free: 1-877-467-6591
Fax: 920-893-5505










Women's Civic Society