Rhinelander’s Izzy Haverkampf dribbles between Lakeland’s Jenna Whitman (10) and Krystin Dallman (11) during the first half of a Great Northern Conference girls’ soccer game at the RHS soccer fields Tuesday, May 14. Haverkampf recorded four goals and an assist in the Hodags’ 6-2 win over the Thunderbirds. (Bob Mainhardt for the River News)
5/16/2019 7:34:00 AM Haverkampf's haul leads Hodags past Lakeland 6-2
Coach Richard Kotula hopes the Rhinelander High School girls' soccer team's attack is rounding into form just in time for what will be a de facto Great Northern Conference title game.
Izzy Haverkampf scored four goals Tuesday night and the Hodags dispatched Lakeland 6-2 in the first game of Great Northern Conference final round play at the RHS soccer fields.
That win, coupled with Ashland's 6-0 win over Northland Pines Tuesday, essentially turned the fight for the GNC title into a two-horse race with Ashland set to come to Rhinelander this afternoon. The Hodags are looking to avenge a 2-0 loss in Ashland earlier this month and draw even in the conference standings.
"It was a nice game," Kotula said. "We played a much better game than what we did about a month ago when we played Lakeland at their home. Today was a much better, offensive-type mindset. We played with a lot of a must-win (mentality) and girls really wanted to show we have grown into a team that not only has a tough defensive mindset but also a very positive offensive mindset."
Haverkampf played a role in all three of Rhinelander's first half goals, capitalizing on a Lakeland defensive mistake in the fifth minute to give Rhinelander the lead. She scored again in the 17th minute and assisted on Kenedy Van Zile's goal in the 20th minute as the Hodags took command of the match.
Haverkampf converted a penalty kick for the Hodags in the 54th minute and rounded out the scoring with one final tally in the 89th minute.
"She had a great night tonight, four goals," Kotula said. "She was involved playing both as a striker and a defender. We created some opportunities for her as a defender as well."
Lakeland's Leah Wolf scored as the Hodags were unable to clear the ball from the box following a corner kick in the 67th minute. Rhinelander responded less than two minutes later with an Ella Schiek rebound goal. Lakeland scored once more on a Sophia Myshchyshyn penalty kick goal in the 75th minute, that Kotula said was a close call all the way around.
"It was a little bit questionable handball but (the assistant ref) called a PK," he said. "(Goalkeeper) Kahlie (Arneson), she actually read the ball really well, but it seemed like the side official just barely saw the ball pass the goal line just barely probably. Kahlie had it in her hands. She read where the ball was going. She was reacting to it really well. The side official noticed it just barely went over the goal line."
Rhinelander outshot Lakeland 26-7 in the match. Arneson made three saves in the win.
"The girls played well. They connected really well as a team, passing-wise," Kotula said. "It was very much an offensive-minded game for us, which came from outside backs Madi Losch and Rachel Steffen. They really attacked and eliminated any possibilities for Lakeland to attack them. The shots on Kahlie were very minimal."
The win sets up a big GNC matchup this afternoon. Ashland can clinch its second straight conference title with a win. Rhinelander, meanwhile, can still earn a share of the conference crown - what would be the team's seventh in eight years - with a win today plus a win next Thursday at Northland Pines.
Kotula said the key to today's match will simply be a matter of finishing the opportunities the Hodags have, something Rhinelander did not do May 7 up in Ashland.
"Last time we had great opportunities at the beginning of the game and we just didn't put it in the goal. Our full attention will be figuring out how to score against Ashland," he said.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at the RHS soccer fields.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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