More than a month after its first win of the season, the Rhinelander High School boys' soccer team is back in the win column.
Hugh Wiese converted a penalty kick in the 30th minute, which proved to be the only goal in Rhinelander's 1-0 triumph over Mosinee Tuesday at Edgewood Park.
The victory was Rhinelander's first since the Hodags posted a 2-1 win over Lakeland Sept. 5. It snapped a streak of eight straight games without a win - though five of those contests ended in ties.
"It was not a tie. It was a win. It was a win and it really helps us from (Wednesday's) seeding," coach Nathan Bates said.
Bates said Wiese got loose on a breakaway to set up the game's lone goal.
"Hugh had a breakaway situation, was tripped from behind and got a penalty in the box and then he converted the PK," he said. "He had a full breakaway, the kid slide tackled him from behind and he got a penalty kick."
From there, Rhinelander held Mosinee's second-ranked offense in the GNC in check. That included putting the breaks on the conference's leading scorer, Duarte Pedro.
"Our defense and midfield played really well. We were able to shut down Duarte Pedro the whole game. We kept him to one shot the whole entire game," Bates said. "Then (Caden) Claeys, the other hotshot on their team, we shut him down the whole game. I don't think he had a shot on us. It frustrated Mosinee pretty bad."
Rhinelander outshot Mosinee 22-10 in the contest, and 13-4 in shots on goal. Sophomore Gavin Ostermann recorded four saves as he and the Hodags posted their second shutout of the season. Bates said Ostermann was tested only a couple of times in the match.
"Mosinee had a real good look from the right side," he said. "No. 20 (Carter Daul) he had a really good rip on the right side at one point and Gavin had to make a beautiful save on. Then Pedro had a really nice rip from about 32 yards out and Gavin had a beautiful, diving save on. That was the only real shot he had on us and it was beautiful."
Rhinelander's win, and Lakeland's 1-1 tie with Northland Pines, further complicated what was already a complicated 10-team Division 3 playoff bracket.
Despite only having two wins, Bates said Tuesday he was optimistic the Hodags could earn the fifth seed in the draw.
Rhinelander (2-7-5, 2-2-4 Great Northern) vaulted to third in the conference standings with the win and will travel to Antigo this afternoon.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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