Eliminated in the postseason the three previous years by Fox Valley Lutheran, the Xavier Hawks had enough of that empty feeling.
They were tired of walking off the field for the final time in somber fashion, while the Foxes celebrated.
This time was different. This time was the Hawks’ turn to play terminator.
Xavier jumped on the Foxes with a pair of first-half goals and won a Division 2 regional soccer championship 3-0 Thursday afternoon at the USA Youth Sports Complex.
Xavier (17-4-1) advanced to a 4:30 p.m. sectional match Thursday at the USA complex against Northland Pines.
“It was a horrible feeling, losing to them three years in a row like that, but we got them back,” said Xavier senior forward Jacob Hernandez. “We played strong and played our hearts out.”
Hernandez and senior midfielder Cesar Martinez each had a goal and an assist for the Hawks, ranked No. 1 among Division 2 teams in the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association poll.
“To finally beat them, to finally put them down after losing three straight years to them, feels awesome,” said Martinez. “We felt terrible losing to them three straight years in the tournament.”
It was Xavier’s third win over the Foxes this season, and all were 3-0.
“We didn’t play our best game, but we played with a lot of composure,” said Xavier coach Kasey Smith. “We’ve been talking a lot of about playing with composure and setting some standards.”
The Eastern Valley Conference champion Hawks controlled possession most of the game and had 22 shots on goal to just two for FVL (11-11-2), which finished in a second-place tie with Little Chute in the EVC.
Hernandez got the Hawks going with a quick score on a rebound shot at the 5:51 mark.
“Cesar (Martinez) had a great cross and it took a deflection and I just laid it in the corner of the net,” said Hernandez.
The Hawks went up 2-0 late in the first half when Martinez booted a short-range shot past FVL goalkeeper Mason Wilz.
“I followed up a shot on goal and, right before the keeper was going to grab it, I flicked it past him,” said Martinez.
Wilz and the Foxes hung tough but couldn’t gain control of the ball. Austin Weigman finished off FVL by scoring on a breakaway goal with 1:55 remaining.
“They’re a good team and it’s hard beating a good team like that three times in a year,” said Martinez. “We came out with intensity, played our game and stayed out of their game.”
Goals: Jacob Hernandez (Cesar Martinez) 5:51; Martinez (Erik Van Hammond) 34:42; Austin Weigman (Hernandez) 78:05. Shots on goal: X 22, FVL 2. Saves: Mason Wilz FVL 13, Joe Goudzwaard X 2.
— Tim Froberg: 920-993-1000, ext. 423, or firstname.lastname@example.org; On Twitter @twfroberg