Tags: Feature Sports Story, Sports
June 05, 2012 | 05:11 PMKENOSHA — Goals were hard to come by in Saturday's Division 1 girls soccer regional final between fifth-seeded Badger and fourth-seeded Milton/Edgerton at Ameche Field.
But in a thrilling shootout, the local girls came up big when it mattered most.
Badger senior Angelina Delgado, the reigning Southern Lakes Conference player of the year, stepped up in the clutch. After the game ended in a 0-0 tie, Delgado scored the game-winning goal in a dramatic, 4-3 shootout to lift the Badgers to sectionals for the second time in school history and the first time since 2009.
Badger improved to 15-5-2 overall, and Milton ended its season 11-7-1.
"Angelina was calm and cool," Badger coach Ross Fowler said. "The goalie was leaning to the opposite side, and Angelina hit in the left corner. Assistant coach Jim Jacobsen asked me with a few minutes left in regulation if we could win a shootout. I said we could. It was a neat experience."
In the decisive shootout, Badger hit four of five shots. With it tied at 3-3, Badger goalie Autumn Mikrut stopped Milton's final shot with an acrobatic save.
She skied high to her left and knocked the kick away.
Then, Delgado, Badger's fifth and final player to kick, found the back of the net.
Mikrut made another save in shootout in which she did the splits and saved the ball with her hand and foot.
"Autumn did a great job," Fowler said. "She saved two with five kicks on goal. It was outstanding."
Badger seniors Kelsey Nocek, Quin Wessels, Emma Kopp and Delgado all notched goals in the shootout.
Despite plenty of fireworks in the shootout, regulation was a different story. Badger's defense shined, shutting down Milton's talented forwards, Kendra Karleski and Allison Rigg. Milton employed a direct offense and relied on finding its two top scorers and letting them take over.
Badger played their possession brand of soccer and fired six shots but couldn't finish. Milton had five shots.
"It was a battle for who had the best chance to score," Fowler said of regulation. "I was really proud of our effort. It was a back-and-forth game. We had good chances to score, we just didn't."
In the first half, a shot from Kopp bounce off the outside of the net. Then, in the second half, Kopp and Delgado both had good chances but were unable to find the back of the net.
Mikrut, who finished with five saves, had a couple really nice ones in regulation, according to Fowler.
This Thursday, the Badgers will return to Ameche Field to battle top-seeded Kenosha Tremper (20-3-1) on its home field. Tremper crushed Burlington 6-0 in the other regional final.
"The girls are pretty confident playing on the turf field," Fowler said. "Tremper will be pretty quick, skilled and disciplined. You just have to play at this point in the season. We must be focused and accurate on our scoring chances. We play similar styles. We will have to work together defensively."
Badger 3, Westosha Central 1
In a Division 1 regional semifinal last Thursday at Badger, the local girls stumbled to a 1-1 tie by halftime.
"We were a little overconfident early," Fowler said. "But we had plenty of opportunities."
Nocek's goal in the 11th minute opened the scoring for Badger, but Central answered just before the half in the 39th minute.
Badger was able to pull away in the second thanks to goals from Delgado (49th) and Kopp (60th), the latter which was assisted by Delgado.
"We played really well in the second half," Fowler said. "We finished better."
Badger out-shot Central 15-5 for the game.
Central finished the season 6-15-4.