Jack McGinnity scored a hat trick — including a highlight crossfield tally into the upper left corner in the second half — as Wausau East downed Marshfield 5-2 in a WIAA Division 1 boys soccer regional quarterfinal on Tuesday.
The East senior’s laser-like shot from roughly 20 yards out in the 65th minute kissed off the bottom of the crossbar as it went in and drew some oohs and ahhs from the crowd and his own bench for the goal that is near the top of his career scores.
“That’s definitely up there,” McGinnity said. “That’s probably No. 1.”
Henry Nuckles added a goal and two assists for the Lumberjacks, who host Wisconsin Rapids or Stevens Point Area Senior High on Thursday.Camilo Mesa and Eli Oba scored for Marshfield. Neil Dums had five saves for the Tigers, while Bryce Taylor stopped four shots for Wausau East.
McGinnity scored two of East’s goals in the second half as the Lumberjacks pulled away from what was a 2-1 game at the half. East’s Nick Sorenson was credited with East’s first goal of the second half, which came off a cornerkick and was a somewhat controversial score as the officials ruled the ball crossed the line just as a Marshfield defender was clearing it from the goal box.
“My player said, ‘It was standing on the line, took a step forward and kicked the ball and (the officials) called it a goal.’ That just took the wind out of our sails,” Marshfield coach Ron Todryk said. “It devastates you. You’re fighting hard and are in the game against the (Wisconsin Valley) conference champ, and then its a call like that.”
Sorenson’s goal came in the 47th minute, as he powered a shot from the left side of the net that Dums was able to get a piece of, but couldn’t stop.
“We just executed a little better (in the second half),” East coach Brian Buege said. “We talked about our gameplan coming in and we didn’t execute it real well in the first half. We talked about it again in the second half and said, ‘Let’s clean things up and execute.’ The second half (the players) did exactly what we talked about. The execution was very good and we looked like an entirely different team in the second half.”
The Lumberjacks swept Marshfield in a pair of Wisconsin Valley Conference regular-season games, outscoring the Tigers by a combined 13-1. The Tigers hung with East for a half as Mesa scored 47 seconds after McGinnity gave the Lumberjacks a 1-0 lead with a goal in the seventh minute.
Mesa nearly gave Marshfield the lead roughly 40 seconds late as his shot was just wide of the left post. East’s Zang Chang also hit a post in the 26th minute after Dums was caught out of net, and the Lumberjacks junior forward chased down a loose ball to the left corner and fired a shot on net.
Chang assisted on Nuckles goal in the 35th minute that gave the Lumberjacks the lead for good.
“I hand it to Marshfield, they played a great game. They worked hard the whole game,” McGinnity said. “Everyone in the playoffs is going to give you their best shot, no one wants to see their season end.”
First half: 1. W, Jack McGinnity (Ethan Rist), 6:41; 2. M, Camilo Mesa (Matt McCann), 7:28; 3. W, Henry Nuckles (Zang Chang), 34:43.
Second half: 4. W, Nick Sorenson (Peter Wilke), 46:40; 5. W, McGinnity (Gunnar Bode), 50:01; 6. W, McGinnity (Nuckles), 64:09; 7. M, Eli Oba, 76:47.
Saves: Marshfield Neil Dums 5; Wausau East Bryce Taylor 4.
Records: Wausau East 15-4-1, Marshfield 6-14-2