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Boys Soccer vs. Kenosha St. Joseph

The University School boys’ soccer team made a clear statement on Friday, September 6th. The Wildcats played Kenosha St. Joseph, a team that had not yet conceded a goal in the season.  Despite playing a man down for nearly 80% of the game, the defending Division 4 state champions scored 4 goals, gave up just 2, and defeated the Lancers 4-2 in a non-conference game at the Anderson/Troha Soccer Fields in Kenosha.

Jock Mutschler, USM’s head coach commented on the big win, “The boys overcame adversity this afternoon in Kenosha. It was inspiring to see the boys rally together after Alvin (Pokel) received a red card. The boys drew on their energy reserves and focused mentally on the task at hand.  They played short-handed for 70 minutes against a team ranked in the top 10 in the state in Division 4, and, oh yeah, St. Joe’s had not conceded a goal in their first four matches. We succeeded.”

Cody Adams made his own statement by scoring two goals just over a minute apart early in the match.  He scored the game’s first goal at 12:35 when he got the ball and fired it in as the players scrambled for a loose ball in front of Patrick Connolly, St. Joseph’s goalie, after a USM corner.

Adams score again soon thereafter.  Noah Eghbali touched a short pass to Adams who was perched on the edge of the 18 yard box.  Adams one-timed a shot past Connolly to give USM a 2-0 lead at 13:40.

The Lancers were awarded a Penalty Kick as a result of USM’s red card.  Joseph Feudner took the kick and scored at 20:00.

The score did not change for the remainder of the first half.  USM went further ahead with a goal at 67:35. On the play, Ryan Zwief sent a pass across the field to Jordan Puetz.  Puetz described his actions, “On the top of the 18, I received the ball and split a couple of players and hit the ball into the left side of the goal. This gave us a big boost and kept us working hard.”

The Lancers moved closer with a goal at 78:30.  Andrew Alla got the ball after a USM defensive mishap and took off on a breakaway.  He moved in on USM’s goalkeeper Hadi Najeeb and fired a shot past him to keep the game close for the remainder of the second half.

With exactly a minute remaining, Puetz gave the Wildcats some breathing room with his second goal of the game.  He said, “Donny (Jones) dribbled through a majority of their defense and chipped a ball to me, which I headed into the goal.” 

Puetz, who is one of USM’s captains summarized the win, “The game was a tough game where we worked hard even with a man-down to secure the win.”

Mutschler also stated, “The boys enjoyed some excellent finishing from Cody and Jordan and some wizardry from Donny, and combined that with stout defense, especially from our outside defenders, Cameron (Hakami) and Bradshaw (Morel). This potent mix of creativity and unyielding force subdued KSJ.

“The contrast between Cameron and Bradshaw and KSJ's outside defenders was stark. Noah and Jordan beat KSJ's wing defenders like a drum all afternoon. They pounded out a rhythm that was music to their teammates’ ears. They came off the edge like arrows shot out of a bow. I am singing their praises because their ability to dominate the flanks forced KSJ's above average central defenders to vacate the soft underbelly in front of the goal and lend a hand on the outside. This opened space for Cody and Donny to operate effectively and for them to make the critical difference in the match.

“So, we know that KSJ's outside defenders were vulnerable. Conversely, Cameron and Bradshaw were not. Vulnerable that is. They were anything but. More like ferocious. They aggressively stepped forward and consistently stifled KSJ's wingers. I admired their tough tackling and courageous heading. Cameron and Bradshaw's defense allowed Kai (Prawitz) and Tommy (Hayden) to stay home and protect the central sector of the field.”

USM’s ability to apply force to the Lancers’ defense became evident in the shot totals.  USM took 22 shots to St. Joseph’s 14.  The Wildcats made Connolly make 11 saves, while Najeeb made 4 saves in the contest.

USM is now 4-0 and 1-0 in the Midwest Classic Conference.  The Wildcats play an important Midwest Classic Conference game  against Lake Country Lutheran at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 11th at Lake Country Lutheran High School in Hartland.