APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The tension was palpable in the air as Audrey Vanderloop approached the soccer ball. She took a deep breath and shot the ball. De Pere’s goalie initially saved it, and then it rolled over the goal line and just like that, the Lightning moved on to the next round.
“At first, I didn’t even know it crossed it, so I kind of turned around and saw everyone running towards me, and that’s when I really knew,” Vanderloop said.
The game took 110 minutes, two overtimes and eight penalty kicks, and the Lightning gave everything they had as they moved on to the sectional round of the state tournament.
“I think definitely a lot of stress, but also excitement knowing that we have a good chance at winning because we have a strong team and a really strong keeper so I think we definitely knew we had a good chance at winning it,” Appleton North junior Madison Maulick said.
Her teammates agreed.
“It was a pretty wild game. It was really exciting to play in,” Appleton North junior Hannah Baer said. “I feel like the tension was kind of coming off the field, I hope everyone felt it, but it was super exciting to be able to come out with that win.”
The Lightning have a big matchup next with the Kimberly Papermakers and the rematch is eagerly awaited, since the last time these two teams faced off in the regular season, it ended in a tie.
“I think playing on their home tuft will be a struggle,” Maulick says. “Everyone knows Kimberly is always a powerhouse in whatever they do, so we just have to bring our game and our energy.”