In this May 4, 2019 file photo, Rhinelander goalkeeper Kahlie Arneson reacts as Marshfield’s Nina Hashimoto (7) scrambles for a loose ball against Rhinelander defenders Brooke Mork, Haylee Campbell and Emma Hjelle during a girls’ soccer game at Mike Webster Stadium. The Hodags and Tigers meet again this afternoon in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal contest and the Hodags will look to slow down Hashimoto, who leads Marshfield with 35 goals scored so far this season. (Photos by Jeremy Mayo/River News)
In this May 4, 2019 file photo, Rhinelander’s Izzy Haverkampf heads a ball in front of Marshfield’s Cassidy Kolstad during a girls’ soccer game at Mike Webster Stadium. Haverkampf scored a goal and recorded an assist in the Hodags’ 2-0 win over the Tigers that day.
6/6/2019 7:30:00 AM Eyes on the Tigers Hodag soccer to face Marshfield seeking another trip to the sectional finals
Another regional title under its belt, the Rhinelander High School girls' soccer team looks to continue the road to the WIAA state tournament in Milwaukee this afternoon as it hosts Marshfield at the RHS soccer fields.
To the winner, a trip to Saturday's sectional final round to face either River Falls or Onalaska.
Rhinelander rolled into the sectional semifinals in Division 2 with a 4-0 win over Merrill last Saturday while Marshfield knocked off Wisconsin Valley Conference rival Wausau East 3-0 at Griese Park.
Today's game will be a rematch of a non-conference contest May 4. The Hodags prevailed 2-0 in that game, which helped Rhinelander (11-4-0, 8-2-0 Great Northern) secure the No. 1 seed in the half-sectional over Marshfield (12-7-1, 6-4-2 Wis. Valley) and a bye in the first round of the WIAA tournament.
"Marshfield is going to have their A game and I'm 100 percent sure they want to beat us this time," Rhinelander coach Richard Kotula said following Saturday's win over the Bluejays. "They have a great team and we'll be practicing to play against them. If the girls play the way they did today, having chemistry on the field, we should have a really good game."
For the Hodags, the challenge will begin with neutralizing Marshfield's potent scoring tandem of junior Nina Hashimoto and sophomore Kate Schilling. Hashimoto, a unanimous first-team All-WVC selection as a forward, leads the Tigers with 35 goals and nine assists this season coming into today's game, according to numbers complied by the River News. Schilling has 12 goals and three assists. No one else on the team has scored more than four goals so far this season.
The Hodags were able to keep Hashimoto and Schilling off the scoresheet in the first meeting, but both had their chances - especially in a second half that was controlled by the Tigers. In that game, Rhinelander sophomore goalkeeper Kahlie Arneson denied Schilling's advances in the 49th, 63rd and 87th minutes. She also made a diving save following a battle for a loose ball in the Rhinelander box in the 58th minute and snuffed out a Hashimoto breakaway chance in the 84th minute.
Arneson recorded 10 saves in the first meeting between the two teams as Rhinelander held a slight 17-15 advantage in total shots, but was outshot 10-4 in the second half.
"Kahlie was a big factor in that game and she continues to be a backbone for us. She's ready for it," Kotula said.
Izzy Haverkampf, Rhinelander's leading scorer, converted a penalty kick in the 13th minute and assisted on an insurance goal scored by Gwyn Lowry in the 57th minute of that match. The telling statistic for the Rhinelander in that match is that it put well over half of its total shots (10 of 17) on goal.
"In the Marshfield game, I was happy that the shots on goal percentage was really high. We will continue to ride on that as well," Kotula said.
Hashimoto was one of six All-WVC sections for the Tigers this spring, and one of two first-team choices along with junior defender Anna Paape. Schilling, goalkeeper Mikayla Brueggen, midfielder Nicole Simon (4 goals-3 assists) and midfielder Paige Preston (3-4) all received honorable mention. Brueggen is 11-7-2 on the season for the Tigers with a 1.64 goals against average and a .812 save percentage.
Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. in front of Rhinelander High School.
NOTES: The location of Saturday's sectional final round has changed. Previously scheduled for 2 p.m. at New Richmond High School, the contest will now take place at 4 p.m. at Eau Claire Memorial ... Rhinelander seeks its fourth trip to the sectional finals in the last six years ... Marshfield reached the sectional semifinals in Division 2 last year, losing to Pulaski 2-1 ... Today will mark the third time in the last four years Rhinelander and Marshfield have met in the postseason. The Hodags defeated Marshfield 3-2 in overtime in a regional semifinal game in 2017 and 3-1 in a regional final contest in 2016.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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