Monona Grove simply had too much firepower.
In the Badger East Conference championship game, the Silver Eagles doubled up the Waunakee boys’ soccer team 4-2 on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Playing at home, Monona Grove took a 2-0 lead in the first half on goals by Nathan Haberli—the first was unassisted in the 24th minute, and Milo Kohl fed Haberli for the second in the 36th minute. It was a competitive game.
“We certainly had our chances with two missed penalties and one of MG’s goal being an own goal on a clearing attempt by one of our defenders. Will Reis (goalie) came up big with 13 saves in the game, a few of them top level saves denying strong scorning opportunities for MG,” said Dave Kettner, head coach of the Warriors.
Kettner continued, “We had the opportunity to take the lead in the first 20 minutes when a penalty was awarded for a hand ball in the penalty area. The MG goalie came up big in making the save on the penalty taken by Carter Allison. MG then opened the scoring shortly thereafter taking advantage of a miscommunication between our goalie and one of our defenders. They added a second near the end of the half to lead 2-0 at halftime.”
Lindon Jonuzi got the Warriors on the scoreboard in the 50th minute, with Carter Allison assisting. A Waunakee own goal made it 3-1, but the Warriors clawed back in it with an unassisted goal by Stepan Khamenka in the 61st minute.
Haberli earned a hat trick by scoring an insurance goal in the 76th minute, with Ben Zielke assisting.
“Our Warriors fought back in the second half and outperformed MG, but fell a little short. We had the chance to score early in the second half on another awarded penalty kick, but the shot went wide. Shortly thereafter, we found the net when Lindon Jonuzi was able to gain control of the ball in the area and put her home to get us on the scoreboard. We were constantly putting on the pressure when MG was able to get the ball deep into the Waunakee penalty area. Unfortunately, a clearing attempt by a Waunakee defender on a cross by MG ended up finding the back of the net to give MG a 3-1 lead,” said Kettner.
Kettner added, “We were able to shorten MG’s lead to the goal in the 60th minute from Stepan Khamenka, assisted by Jack Burville. With roughly 10 minutes to goal we decided to gamble and move to a more aggressive formation by moving a defender into the attacking front line. The gamble did not pay off as MG was able to quick counter by getting the ball to their top player (number 10) over the top of our defense to put MG ahead for good at 4-2.”
The Warriors had won three of four matches entering Saturday’s duel with Sun Prairie West. On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Waunakee blanked Fort Atkinson 3-0, as Adrian Karinopoulos and Kamenka each had a goal and an assist. Isaiah Jakel also netted a goal for the Warriors.
On Thursday, Oct. 6, the Warriors blitzed Reedsburg 6-0. No other information was available. Going into the Sun Prairie West game, Waunakee had been unbeaten in four straight matches, but the Wolves emerged with a 3-0 win.
Finishing the season with an 8-3-9 overall record, along with a 4-1-3 mark in Badger East play, the Warriors begin postseason play on Tuesday, Oct. 18 with a regional clash against Madison East at home.