Kobie Smith

McFarland High School boys soccer defender Kobie Smith was among seven Spartans named to the All-Rock Valley Conference first team.

The team ended up 17-3-4 overall, won the Rock Valley Conference with an 8-0 mark, reached the WIAA Division 3 state tournament in Milwaukee for the second straight year and came within a goal of bringing home a state title.

Not to mention, the team was the No. 1 ranked team for much of the season, and among the Division 1 teams on its schedule, toppled powerhouse Madison Memorial in the season opener and played Sun Prairie, Verona, Madison East and Madison West to a tie.

To say the least, it was a memorable year for head coach Brett Ogorzalek and the McFarland High School soccer team.

When a team has so many successes, the players are going to get rewarded at the end of the year.

The 2019 All-Rock Valley Conference first team is represented by seven McFarland athletes, led by the team’s brotherly tandem of senior Ethan Nichols and sophomore Zach Nichols.

Ethan Nichols scored 16 goals during the regular season and the regional and sectional round, and then scored three more in the two state playoff games to finish with 19 for the season.

Zach Nichols not only scored his share of goals but also dealt out a fair number of assists. He found the back of the net 13 times and had a team leading 16 helpers.

The Nichols brothers tied for the team lead in shots of goal with 50 each.

Senior midfielder Brett Connor also received first-team membership after a season of four goals and three goals. He also pounded 11 shots on goal.

Jake Sampson was credited with one goal during the regular season, but the junior added 10 assists to also achieve first-team honors.

Defenders Carson Werwinski and Kobie Smith, both juniors, received the same recognition for helping allow just 22 goals all season. The Spartans yielded five goals to non-conference Monona Grove but allowed one goal or fewer in 19 other matches.

Sophomore goaltender Matt Schutt was also a first-team honoree after a .945 save percentage with 155 saves on 164 shots on goal and 10 shutouts. Schutt and senior backup Austin Miller combined to allow only 14 goals.

Two Spartans were also selected to the honorable mention team, including junior defender Carson Mrowiec and freshman Mason Brown, who tallied five goals and seven assists.

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