The stage was set for the Assumption girls soccer team to finally hand St. Mary Central a season ending loss.
The Zephyers spoiled that plan when Molly Britt scored the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute to edge the Royals 4-3 in a Division 3 sectional semifinal game Thursday at Washington Field.
St. Mary faces Eau Claire Regis, a 5-0 winner over Spooner, at 2 p.m. Saturday in Stevens Point for a trip to the state tournament, while the Royals suffered their first loss.
The history between the two schools dates back to 2005, when they first met in the postseason. All the previous games were played on the Zephyrs’ home turf in Neenah, until Thursday, when the Royals, boasting the No. 1 seed, finally got a their shot at home.
“We know each other so well because we always play each other to go to state,” said Assumption junior Mary Sigler, who scored twice in the game. “They played well and so did we.
“This season meant a lot because I’ve played with these girls for a long time, especially the seniors,” Sigler added. “To end like this is sad.
Trailing 3-1, early in the second half, Assumption scored two straight goals, to tie the game at 3-2 at the 62:20 mark.
Narrowing the gap to 3-2 was Jasmine Hunn with a close range goal during a flurry of action in the goal box. Less than 10 minutes later, Sigler made good on her second penalty kick attempt of the game to make it a 3-3 game.
“When came back to tie I thought we were going to win it 4-3 and have a great win,” said an emotional Assumption coach John Bingham. “It was a physical game and our girls played their hearts out. Even down 3-1, that’s like two touchdowns and I felt we still had a shot.
“There were a lot of key points in this game, they just converted one more,” Bingham added.
The momentum didn’t stay with either team for long, but the Zephyrs did have an advantage when it game to direct kicks. Twice Kelly Conn, the Zephyrs’ leading scorer, connected for goals from short range on the set play.
“We’ve played Assumption a lot, but this was our first time here,” Conn said. “We came out a little slow and after the half we picked it up and played our game.”
The Royals completed their first undefeated regular season record and earned their first No. 1 seed for the playoffs.
“I’m so proud of the girls and they’re hurting now, but they had a great season and so much to be proud of,” Bingham said. “They played hard all season and have so much to be proud of.”
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