With three consecutive wins in the Great Northern Conference (GNC) last week, the Northland Pines girls soccer team put themselves into third place in conference play.

The Eagles then captured fourth place at the Waupaca Varsity Invitational last Saturday.

A pair of 5-0 wins at home against Newman and Mosinee, and a 6-1 win at Medford last week, put the Eagles into third place behind Ashland and Rhinelander in the GNC.

In those three games, Rowan Klaver tallied seven goals, Lauren Grosskopf and Maddie Romatoski had three each, Cailey Coopman scored a pair, while Emma Sima and Allie Kieffer each scored once. 

Pines goalkeeper McKenzie Mayo made 12 saves for Pines during those three GNC games.

With a GNC record of 5-2, a new conference tournament format gives the Eagles a No. 3 seed in the group of eight teams, ensuring them games against the teams in the top half of the conference. For that reason, Pines will host No. 1 seed Ashland on Tuesday at 5 p.m., travel to No. 4 seed Lakeland this Thursday, May 16, for a 5 p.m. match, and host No. 2 Rhinelander at 5 p.m. next Thursday, May 23.

In the Waupaca tournament on Saturday, the Eagles defeated Kingsford, Mich, 2-0 to propel the Eagles into the winners bracket. Goals by Klaver and Romatoski were key, along with solid defending from Sima, Kristin Schaars, Dani Jo Anderson, Hope Offerdahl and Ellen Reese.

“We also got really good time from our substitutes who held their own once we went up by a pair,” said Pines coach Larry Favorite. “Natalie Fluegel, Mia Mroczynski, Lauren Reese, Lacey Gilomen and Lily Young had really good minutes to finish out the game for us.”

In the semifinal game, Grosskopf got a score at 1:25 to give Pines the early lead against Marquette, Mich., but the Eagles eventually lost 2-1 in a very tight game. Mayo and her counterpart keeper from Marquette each had eight saves for the game.

“We created enough scoring opportunities to win this game, but just couldn’t quite finish most of them,” said Favorite. 

The final game against Menasha was played immediately following the Marquette contest, giving Pines virtually no rest between games. But the Eagles held their own, with each team generating eight shots against each other. 

But Favorite said a very unusual “obstruction” call gave Menasha a free kick which they scored on with just eight minutes remaining. Pines still manufactured a few scoring opportunities in the remaining minutes, but time ran out, giving Menasha the 1-0 win and third place in the tournament.

“I am really happy with the effort of this team all week,” said Favorite. “If we can improve our scoring moving forward, we will be a really solid team moving forward.”

In addition to the Ashland and Lakeland games this week, Pines will also host Kingsford again this Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m.