Tigers soccer moves on to sectional final
For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – For the first time in program history, the Tiger girls soccer team has advanced to sectional finals.
The Marshfield Tigers continued their strong defense to win the sectional semi final over Rhinelander, 4-0, on June 6.
The game began with the Tigers getting an edge on possession; after back and forth play, the Tigers struck first on a great goal and pass by Nina Hashimoto and Nicole Simon at 12:02.
“Nicole sent a cross right to Nina who headed the ball into the back of the net,” said Head Coach Steve Lindner. “The game remained tight with Rhinelander missing a few opportunities until a Tiger player was whistled for a hand ball with 31 seconds remaining in the first half.
“Mikayla Brueggen dug in but the Hodag player missed wide right. That play was huge as with a goal so late in the half may have put a damper on a strong 1st half of play. Instead the momentum stayed with the Tigers.”
The second half started with both teams having a chance to score, but neither could capitalize.
“We really started to wear the Hodags down even though we shortened our players getting into the game a little, and the team just played their hearts out,” Lindner said. “Finally at the 72nd minute Simon and Hashimoto struck again with Nicole passing to Nina who scored to give a little breathing room for the Tigers.
Sophia Gruenling launched a long shot which went just out of reach of Kahlie Arneson to hit net at 81:18. Hashimoto, assisted by Kate Schilling, capped off the evening with her third goal and eliminated any hopes of a Hodag comeback.
“Rhinelander defeated us earlier in the season and we knew we did not play our best soccer up there at the time but today the team really stepped up and played a super game,” Lindner said. “The team was incredibly focused before the game and you could feel the tension as we warmed up.
“But to the credit of the team you start playing and the skills just show up. Our passing has clicked most of the season, after defeating SPASH, and (we) have gone 7-1-1 since losing to Rhinelander earlier. Again the entire team has been the reason for the streak which is up to 6 games and 3 straight shutouts.”
Marshfield will next play Onalaska at Eau Claire Memorial, June 8 at 4 p.m., in a WIAA Divisional 2 sectional final.