Platteville/Lancaster entered the WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinal game at McFarland with a robust 11-1-1 record after beat Evansville and Dodgeville/Mineral Point in the regional round.
But the Spartans quickly brought the Hillmen down to earth with five first-half goals to take a 7-1 victory Nov. 1 and advance to the sectional final game.
The game was delayed by one day after a Halloween snowstorm left 6 inches on the ground. About 30 volunteers helped clean off the field, which was covered in ankle deep snow to make it was playable for next day’s match.
Head coach Brett Ogorzalek said the actions of those who helped clear might have served as a good lesson for his team.
“The volunteers that did the shoveling last night may have helped us,” Ogorzalek said. “It made us focus on team building, and it was a very positive experience that everyone was a part of.”
The Hillmen started the game with a lot of team spirit that included yelling and screaming instructions on the field.
But McFarland began reducing volume of those words less than two minutes into the game as Vince Seils tapped in a shot past Hillmen goalie Michael Fields and then increased the lead to 2-0 in the 13th minute.
Ethan Nichols, who assisted on both Seils’ goals, widened the goal in the 15th minute with Mason Brown earning the assist. Two minutes later, Brown scored off Carter Mrowiec’s assist to give McFarland a 4-0 lead. Ethan Nichols added the fifth goal in the 29th minute as he easily weaved around Hillmen defenders and connected on a shot along the left post.
Ogorzalek said he was impressed with how the Spartans matched the Hillmen’s early intensity and take away their momentum.
“We just kept attacking them, pressing them, winning the ball in their half of the field and getting some good shots off,” Ogorzalek said. “I’m sure that was hard for (Platteville/Lancaster). We also had the wind to our advantage in the first half and that helped us. That was the perfect storm, and everything was going for us in the first 15 to 20 minutes.”
With most of the second stringers on the field for the second half, McFarland kept on scoring as Bryce Flemming tallied off a Max Binger assist in the 52nd minute and Jack McGinn made it a 7-0 game in the 72nd minute.
The Platteville/Lancaster supporters had something to cheer about in the 78th minute as Kaydan Addie put in the Hillmen’s only goal.
McFarland outshot Platteville/Lancaster 43-8 with Fields stopping 19 shots for the Hillmen. Schutt had one save after playing the first half. Austin Miller patrolled the net in the second half and made five saves.