10/3/2019 3:58:00 PM The undefeated Wildcat girls soccer team claimed their first ever M8C championship
The undefeated, untied Chisago Lakes Wildcats girls soccer team was heavily favored going into their match with the young-but-improving North Branch Vikings. But, as often happens in rivalry games, the match turned out to be a tight one, and the teams battled to a 1-1 overtime tie. The game was played Thursday, September 26 at North Branch High School.
The Wildcats dominated early play and controlled the ball for most of the first half, although things evened out some after the first 20 minutes. The Vikings actually had better scoring opportunities, including a shot that went just over the crossbar. The Wildcats didn’t really test Viking keeper Emma Mohs in the first half, as any shots were right at her or missed the net.
The Vikings scored 40 seconds into the second half. Emmie Meyer threw the ball in from the right side about ten yards from the goal line in the Wildcat zone. Lilly Johnson trapped it near the right post and tapped it toward the net. As Wildcat goalkeeper Dylan Grave dropped to block it, the ball went between her legs, over the goal line and into the back of the next to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. Ten minutes later, the Wildcats tied it up on a goal by Riann Daas, who took a shot from outside the right side of the box and snuck it inside the left post. Madison Kubalek got the assist.
The Wildcats (13-0-1) started to put some more pressure on the Vikings (4-9-1). With two minutes to go, Wildcat Kellie Higgins launched a corner kick that sailed into the box about five yards in front of the net. But no one touched it as the ball bounced over the goal line to the left of the net. A minute later, the Wildcats had another opportunity from inside the Vikings’ box, but popped the ball over the crossbar. And with less than a minute to go, one of the Wildcats blocked a low goal kick by Mohs, but in the same motion headed it right back to Mohs for an easy save. In overtime, both Grave and Mohs had to make some nice saves to keep the game tied.
Viking head coach Josh Kopp said “We were able to match up with their style of play, which is not too physical and where they don’t try to push a ton of players forward. The girls on both teams are very familiar with each other from playing together in summer soccer. We did an excellent job of sticking to our game plan going in. Defensively, we held our shape and we played about as good as we can, especially in one on one battles. Lilly Johnson, our attacking mid, Emmie Meyer our holding mid and our entire defensive line really stood out making sure their top players didn’t hurt us. They had quite few corner kicks, and we were able to keep them off the scoreboard on those. That’s one thing we’ve really been working on. Attacking-wise, we knew we could get some chances in transition if we stuck with our game plan. And we did get some chances. Our girls did a good job putting us in position to win the game and a tie was an excellent result.”
Wildcat head coach Wayne Kugel said “It’s super awesome to see Josh Kopp starting to make a positive impact on the North Branch soccer program. Hats off to Viking girls soccer. They really elevated their game and played very well. Shout out to Viking goalkeeper Emma Mohs. She had a lights out performance!”