(WFRV) – After persevering through an unprecedented alternate spring season, Northeast Wisconsin boys soccer teams finally got the payoff with tickets to next weekend’s WIAA state tournament.
Appleton North, De Pere and Notre Dame secured dramatic sectional final victories to put themselves among the final four teams in contention for the gold ball.
Here’s a look at the night’s results:
Appleton North 2, Appleton East 1: The Lightning got off to a strong start against the Cinderella of the playoffs, taking a 1-0 lead on a first half goal from Nick Milani. Three minutes into the second half, Zack Liddell connected with a beautiful cross from Aidan Greer to give North a 2-0 lead – but it didn’t last long. Just moments later, East’s Bryan Jaimes took advantage of a misplaced drop pass to poke one by the goalkeeper, making it 2-1 with 30 minutes to play. But North’s back line held strong, and the Lightning maintained the one-goal lead to punch their ticket to state.
De Pere 1, Green Bay Preble 0: Redbirds goalkeeper Jack Rosner made the game-sealing save as time expired to give De Pere the sectional title. Rosner, a brick wall for the full 90 minutes, came up with several clutch saves, but none better than the final one on Brady Bosacki’s rocket toward the net. Andrew Yang netted the lone goal for the Redbirds in the first half.
Notre Dame 3, Winnebago Lutheran 1: Garrett Watzka scored a much-needed equalizer in the first half and the Tritons dug out of an early hole with three unanswered goals, securing their spot in next weekend’s Division 2 state tournament. Tied 1-1 at the break, NDA overcame some tense moments to put two in the back of the net in the final 45 minutes, keeping the dream season alive for the top seed.