WIAA boys soccer roundup: Lincoln upsets Oshkosh West

WIAA boys soccer roundup: Lincoln upsets Oshkosh West

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WIAA boys soccer roundup: Lincoln upsets Oshkosh West

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Oshkosh West was desperately trying for the game-winning goal in the latter stages of the second half, coming within mere inches on a few different occasions all while keeping the ball on their opponents half of the field.

Then, in the 78th minute, Manitowoc Lincoln turned the tables and seized the opportunity.

Catching Oshkosh West off guard, Lincoln senior midfielder Connor Becka got a cross feed from Mitchell Belisle and, after bouncing around in the box for a few moments, was able to shoot one past goalkeeper Ryan Bluhm for the go-ahead goal and Manitowoc hung on for the 2-1 stunning victory over the Wildcats in the WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal matchup on J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium Tuesday night.

“We left some scoring chances out on the field tonight, and sometimes that’s all it takes to lose a game like this,” head coach Matt Callahan said.

That, and some terrific goaltending by Ships goalkeeper Drake Nickels.

Manitowoc went ahead in the 14th minute, as Belisle took advantage of a ball that bounced away from Bluhm after he made the initial save and put it in the back of the net for the early 1-0.

Nickels then made sure it stayed that way for as long as he could.

Three times in the opening half Nickels was faced with a 1-on-1 with a Wildcats player, including twice in the 27th and 28th minute by senior midfielder Alex Engle, but Nickels was able to make the saves. Nickels finished with 16 saves on the night.

“Their goalie was phenomenal, I mean we had a few shots from the 12-yard mark that were very powerful shots and he just came up big and made some great saves. He was a phenomenal goalkeeper,” Callahan said.

The sentiment was shared by Lincoln coach Chris Callen.

“The difference between the winner and loser tonight was the goalkeeper position,” Callen said via e-mail. “It’s a good thing we had Drake.”

A nifty sequence in the 37th minute by the Wildcats finally put them on the board, as Engle lobbed it ahead on the right side to Brandon Stevens, who immediately turned and pushed it in front of the net to Zach Walker who headed it past the outstretched arms of Nickels for the game-tying goal just before halftime.

Oshkosh West controlled possession for a large portion of the second half, and appeared poise to score the go-ahead goal a few different times.

Engle had the first chance just after halftime, but was turned away by Nickels in the 42nd minute. Isaiah Merrill’s turn came in the 60th minute, but his long lob shot was too far and landed on top of the goalie box.

Jacob Youngwirth-Olk took his turn in the 67th minute with a clean shot towards the goal, but again was turned back.

The final chance for Oshkosh West came in the 72nd minute, as Engle recieved a left-side corner kick that found him on the right side of the goalie box. Engle outjumped the defender for a clean header, but his shot sailed high and again landed on the net of the box to keep the game tied.

Then, in a matter of moments, Manitowoc saw its opportunity in the 78th minute, took it, and just the like that the game, and season, had ended for the Wildcats.

Lincoln’s season continues on in the meantime, with the Ships visiting No. 2 Germantown on Thursday.

Division 3 New Holstein 4, Kiel 0

The No. 7 Raiders (5-15-1) season came to an end with a shutout by the host No. 2 Huskies.

Individual stats for Kiel were not provided as of press deadline.

Division 4 St. Mary Central 5, Roncalli 0

The visiting No. 6 Jets fell behind 2-0 in the first 10 minutes and never recovered against the No. 3 Zephyrs.

Roncalli trailed 5-0 at halftime and were able to keep St. Mary Central’s offense in check in the second half.

Zach Berres was in net for the Jets, making 15 saves.

Roncalli finishes the season 3-15-2.

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