Rhinelander’s Jaden Olski prepares to shoot in front of Holmen’s Morgan Treadway during a non-conference girls’ soccer game at the D.C. Everest Soccer Complex in Weston Saturday, May 11. Olski scored on the play, giving the Hodags a 2-1 lead. Rhinelander went on to win the game, 3-1. (Jeremy Mayo/River News)
5/14/2019 7:35:00 AM Second-half goals send Hodag soccer past Holmen 3-1
WESTON - After struggling to buy a goal Saturday in the first half of a match against Holmen, things finally started clicking for the Rhinelander High School girls' soccer team.
Goals by Jaden Olski and Izzy Haverkampf early in the second half proved to be the difference as the Hodags defeated Holmen 3-1 as part of an invitational at the D.C. Everest Soccer Complex in Weston.
The Hodags had a 13-4 edge in shots during the first 45 minutes, but went into halftime level with the Vikings at 1-1. Fortunes changed early in the second.
Olski scored what proved to be the game winner in the 47th minute, taking a shot from the top left corner of the 18-yard box that found the top right conference of the goal. That was a common trend for the Hodags, who attempted to test Holmen keeper Alexis Treadway high.
"The girls were recognizing some of the weaknesses and shooting the ball up high to see if we could beat the goalie," coach Richard Kotula said.
One of those goals came from Brooke Mork in the 29th minute as she lofted a ball from the midfield just underneath the crossbar. Her goal canceled out a Haley Valiska score roughly a minute earlier as the Viking forward snuck behind the Hodag defense.
"That kind of got us going," Kotula said of Mork's goal. "Losing 1-0 in the first half, the girls didn't give up. It was just a small mistake defensively that was costly. We quickly recognized what they were doing and adjusted defensively to it.
"Brooke's goal just kind of elevated us. I'm pretty sure she just wanted to utilize the wind at her back and get a good cross, luckily it went in. A goal from the half doesn't happen often but it created a lot of excitement on the bench."
Haverkampf added a goal in the 59th minute for the Hodags off a pass from Kenedy Van Zile.
In a sense, 3-1 was as close as the final margin could have been. Prior to scoring, the Hodags hit the frame of the goal with three shots in the first half. Ella Schiek put shots off the woodwork in the fourth and 12th minutes. Emma Hjelle rang a free kick off the crossbar in the 16th minute.
Schiek had a chance to extend the lead on a penalty kick in the 62nd minute, but Treadway denied the sophomore's shot to the right side of the goal.
"The missed PK, it happens," Kotula said. "Sometimes they don't go in. At least it was placed on the frame. The goalie just read it well and saved it from Ella, but the intent was good.
"We created some great opportunities first half and second half and didn't capitalize on them."
Holmen had a few chances to cut into the lead. Kahlie Arneson, who recorded seven saves in the win, stopped a strong shot by Braidyn Ruetten to the left post in the 65th minute. Valiska barely missed a redirect chance on a cross in the 81st minute.
Rhinelander finished with a 26-16 edge in total shots, and a 13-8 advantage in shots on goal.
The game was Rhinelander's final non-conference game of the season, and an important win to get against a Holmen team that is in Rhinelander's Division 2 sectional for the WIAA tournament.
"This is what we needed," Kotula said. "We've won against Marshfield. We won against Holmen. This should create some opportunities for us to play perhaps multiple home playoff games."
Rhinelander will begin the final round of Great Northern Conference play today against Lakeland. Kickoff will be at 6 p.m. at the RHS soccer fields.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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