Lauren Reese passed the ball up field to an open teammate during the Sectional semifinal against Wisconsin Rapids Assumption Thursday night in Rapids. —Photo By Erin Connell
Lauren Reese passed the ball up field to an open teammate during the Sectional semifinal against Wisconsin Rapids Assumption Thursday night in Rapids. —Photo By Erin Connell
After defeating Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 4-2 last Thursday, the Northland Pines girls soccer team came to an end in Neenah with a 10-1 loss to St. Mary Catholic on Saturday night. 

With the Sectional championship win, St. Mary Catholic advances to the semifinal of the Division 4 WIAA Girls Soccer State Tournament in Milwaukee this Friday when they will play Oostburg. 

Despite the heat in Wisconsin Rapids last Thursday, the third-seeded Eagles came out and dominated top-seeded Assumption going up 3-0 at halftime. 

An early goal from Allie Kieffer at 10 minutes was followed by a Maddie Romatoski penalty kick at 14 minutes. 

“That quick start gave us momentum and really put them on their heels,” said Pines coach Larry Favorite.

A Rowan Klaver header from a Kieffer corner kick finished the first half scoring, while Assumption managed just one shot.

But Assumption caught Pines flat-footed and scored 1 minute into the second half. 

Another goal at 67 minutes cut the lead to 3-2, when a quirky bounce on a shot handcuffed Pines keeper McKenzie Mayo. 

But Lauren Grosskopf iced the game at 73 minutes when she knocked in a rebound off a shot from the left side. 

The Eagles took 19 shots in the game, while Mayo tallied four saves for Pines.

“I feel like we let them back in the game,” said Favorite, “but to our girls’ credit, they kept their composure and quickly got the game back under control.”

On Saturday, St. Mary’s, the top-seeded team in the other Sectional bracket, jumped on the Eagles with three goals in 15 minutes with their aggressive attack up front. 

But the Eagles scored a goal of their own at 18 minutes to pull within 3-1 on a Madalyn Romatoski penalty kick. 

The score gave Pines some momentum midway through the first half, but St. Mary’s offense was too potent as the Zephyrs built a 5-1 halftime lead. 

St. Mary’s added five goals in the second half en route to a 10-1 victory and a Sectional championship. 

St. Mary’s generated 27 shots on the night to eight for the Eagles.

“The biggest difference was the quality of their shots so close to our net, while our shots were mostly from distance,” said Favorite. “They are a top-caliber team and will do well at the State Tournament this coming weekend.”

Northland Pines ended their season with a third-place finish in the Great Northern Conference and an overall record of 11 wins and 10 losses, a Regional championship, and a trip to the Sectional final. 

Ending their high school soccer careers were seniors Lauren Grosskopf, Cailey Coopman, Hope Offerdahl and Mia Mroczynski. Every player on the varsity roster was also on the Northland Pines honor roll, with grade point averages between 3.0 and 4.0. 

“This speaks well of every player on this team, as they have proven they can handle the rigors of a long soccer season while maintaining excellent performance in the classroom,” commented Fa­vor­ite. “Every one of the players has a bright future ahead of them.”

In addition to St. Mary 

Catholic and Oostburg, also advancing to the State Tournament in Division 4 are Kettle Moraine Lutheran and The Prairie School.