Ashland boys soccer wins state championshipA well-placed penalty kick and a stout defense lifted Ashland to a 1-0 victory over Notre Dame in the Wisconsin Division 3 boys soccer championship game Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
A well-placed penalty kick and a stout defense lifted Ashland to a 1-0 victory over Notre Dame in the Wisconsin Division 3 boys soccer championship game Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee.
Robert Quinlan drilled the ball past Notre Dame goalie Austin Watzka 7:47 into the second half and the Oredocker defense preserved the shutout and the program’s first state soccer title.
After a scoreless first half, Zach Whiting was fouled by a Notre Dame player early in the second, and Quinlan was tabbed to take the penalty kick.
“It was a nice low shot to the left, beautifully placed,” said Ashland coach Anne Whiting by telephone. “Robert is calm and cool in those situations. He kept his composure nicely.”
Even though the goal had given Ashland the lead and Anne Whiting had witnessed the Oredockers (27-1) outscore their opponents 133-5 this season, she knew the rest of the game would be tight.
“I remember thinking that there was a lot of time left,” she said.
And Notre Dame (21-4-4) applied pressure on the Oredockers at times, including on nine corner kicks (seven in the second half), but a defensive scheme change helped shield Ashland goalie Thomas Whiting, who made three saves.
“They put a lot of pressure on us, but I thought our defense squashed a lot of it,” said Anne Whiting, who dropped a forward to the midfield during the game. “From our forwards on back, they did a great job. We played a lot of ball in the midfield.”
And when time elapsed, the Oredockers celebrated achieving a goal set months earlier.
“These kids have played their entire lives for this,” Anne Whiting said. “There was sheer joy on their faces. There was nothing better than being there at that time — watching them celebrate what they’ve worked hard all year for.”
Notre Dame 0-0—0
First half — 1. No scoring.
Second half — 1. A, Robert Quinlan (penalty kick), 47:47.
Saves — Thomas Whiting, A, 3; Austin Watzka ND, 4.