HARTLAND — Once again, Lake Country Lutheran put an end to Hustisford/Dodgeland’s girls soccer season.
This near perennial playoff matchup went the way of the top-seeded Lightning, who outshot third-seeded HD 17-9 on its way to a 6-2 victory in a WIAA Division 4 sectional semifinal on Thursday.
Freshman forward/midfielder Brooke Kerwin put Lake Country Lutheran (11-3-4) on the board in the fourth minute when she took the ball down the left side and placed her shot on the far post.
“Our defender dove in, and she made a nice shot on the far post,” Hustisford/Dodgeland girls soccer coach Otto Hopfinger said. “She’s fast and we gave her too much space. We needed to double team her early.”
The Lightning dominated possession over the first 20 minutes, but gradually lost their shape and failed to take advantage. Hustisford/Dodgeland picked up its intensity with freshman forward Brielle Blome beginning to create on the attack.
When senior goalkeeper Katelyn Rinehart swatted away a penalty kick off the foot of junior midfielder Liliana Guardagno, H/D picked up even more momentum. Senior forward Alexis Becker blasted a direct kick off the crossbar during an encouraging flurry, but H/D was unable to convert.
“If we could have punched one in at that point, it could have been a whole different game,” Hopfinger said. “In that span, we put some good pressure on them and were doing things we were doing well (in recent weeks). We were attacking the ball, stepping and staying with our marks. We weren’t diving in. We were playing pretty solid.”
Lake Country Lutheran weathered that storm and took a 2-0 lead when freshman defender Lexi Wangerin dribbled through the defense and scored in the 38th minute.
“The defender brought the ball up and we left her alone,” Hopfinger said.
Kerwin struck again in the 48th minute, putting a back heel on a cross in the box from junior midfielder Kate Hall and slipping a low shot past Rinehart to make it 3-0.
Hustisford/Dodgeland (11-3-4) finally got on the board in the 54th minute when Becker scored off a free kick from the left side by senior defender Melanie Onstad to make it a two-goal game.
But Guadagno’s unassisted goal in the 69th minute essentially put this one out of reach.
H/D scored once more in the 71st minute when Becker launched a corner from the right side and junior midfielder Julia Leinen flicked a one-touch high shot to the upper right corner of the net.
Hopfinger emptied his bench in the closing minutes and the Lightning punched in goals by junior midfielder Gaby Garcia and Mackenzie Weber to close out the scoring.
“In the second half, we played OK,” Hopfinger said. “We had that surge again. We did score again. It seemed like we could have scored a couple more.
“At the end of the game, I put my whole roster in. They left their starters in. I don’t consider those last couples goals (legit).
“Our defense is usually solid, but we had some breakdowns today. Part of that is we just didn’t have that mental fortitude today. Even though we didn’t win conference, winning the regional title against the team that did and giving them their first loss kind of (makes up for it).
“I thought if we could get to PKs, I was thinking we would have an advantage. We’ve been practicing them and Katie has been lights out judging them. It seems like every time we play that team in this game, there are little opportunities we don’t take advantage of.
“Our defense played amazing all year. We ran out of a little bit of gas. They have some talented players. Even if we dove in this season, we had a cover player to help. Today, we were just late on the cover. We just didn’t get there on the cover. But we had a lot of young players step up this year. I am looking forward to seeing what they can do in the future.”
Lake Country Lutheran advances to host second-seeded Kettle Moraine Lutheran, a 1-0 win over Lake Mills, for the sectional championship on Saturday in Hartland.
LAKE COUNTRY LUTHERAN 6,
Husty/Dodge 0 2 — 2
LC Lutheran 2 4 — 6
LC — Kerwin 3:53
LC — Wangerin 37:16
LC — Kerwin (Hall) 47:04
HD — Becker (Onstad) 53:51
LC — Guadagno 68:34
HD — Leinen (Becker) 70:15
LC — Garcia 81:32
LC — Weber 88:32
Shots — HD 9, LC 17
Saves — HD (Rinehart 9, Olson 3), LC (Brewer 6)