The Xavier girls soccer team is headed to the WIAA Division 2 state soccer tournament at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee yet again.
The Hawks (22-2-3) got three goals from Fallon Peplinski to defeat Sheboygan Falls 3-0 in a Division 2 sectional final at Campbellsport on Saturday.
The Hawks will be taking their third consecutive trip to the state meet and ninth since their first trip in 2003. Xavier will play either Catholic Memorial or New Berlin Eisenhower in a Division 2 state semifinal match at 3 p.m. this Friday.
“It feels fantastic,” Xavier coach Bill Peplinski said about his squad advancing to state. “The girls worked hard Friday to correct the mistakes they made against Fox Valley Lutheran.
“Our defense was just immaculate today. Our back four and Tarynn Theilig just shut down Sheboygan Falls completely.”
Fallon Peplinski put the Hawks ahead in the 24th minute when the Falcons were trying to clear the ball. The ball was deflected to Peplinski, who shielded the defender from the ball and was able to get off a left-footed shot from 22 yards out that went into the upper left corner.
The second goal started when defender Sarah Gregory took a pass away from Sheboygan Falls and led Peplinski with a long pass. Peplinski put a move on the sweeper and scored on another left-footed shot into the upper left corner. The shot came from 25 yards out.
Familiarity with Sheboygan Falls helped the Hawks, who beat the Falcons 1-0 in the Sheboygan South Invitational on May 12.
“We knew how we scored at Sheboygan,” Bill Peplinski said. “We worked at trying to get the ball in the same position. We were able to finish. Fallon did a good job.”
With those three goals, Fallon Peplinski has 33, including six game-winners on the season, to go along with 39 assists.
Defensively, the Hawks have shut out the opposition 23 times, including 10 consecutive matches. The last goal given up by the Hawks was against Waupaca on May 15.
Goals: Fallon Peplinski X 23:41, Fallon Peplinski X (Sarah Gregory) 35:00, Fallon Peplinski X pk 48:12. Shots: X 8, SF 5. Saves: Taryn Theilig X 5, Samantha Oppeer 5.
St. Mary Central 4, Regis 0
At Stevens Point, the Zephyrs (22-1-2) advanced to the WIAA Division 3 state tournament for the seventh time since 2005 with the victory over the Ramblers, who were bidding for their first state tournament appearance.
The Zephyrs will play Lake Country Lutheran/University Lake School (19-2) in a Division 3 semifinal match at 9 a.m. on Friday.
The Zephyrs effectively won the game in the last 20 minutes of the first half, scoring four goals in a span of nine minutes.
Defensively, St. Mary Central held the Ramblers, who had won nine of their previous 11 matches, in check, limiting them to two shots on goal.
“The defense played very well both halves, especially Cassie Lawniczak, who once again shut down Regis’s top player,” Zephyrs coach Gary Kruger said. “I felt we controlled the ball and the pace of the match very well in both halves.
“The offense created a lot of opportunities in the first half and I think the heat slowed them down some in the second half.”
Goals: Molly Britt SMC (Kelly Conn) 25:00, Kelly Conn SMC pk 31:00, Molly Britt SMC (Mary Porter) 32:00, Haley Thelen SMC (Kelly Conn) 34:00. Shots: SMC 9, Regis 2. Saves: Leah Marker SMC 2, Megan Verhagen SMC 1, Anna Ostrowski R 5.