The Milton High School girls soccer team’s reign in its regional came to an end Saturday, June 1, as the Red Hawks were defeated by Monona Grove, 7-0, in a regional final in Monona Grove.
It was the first time since 2015 that the Red Hawks were not crowned regional champions.
Milton advanced to the regional final after a 9-2 win over Poynette/Portage on Tuesday, May 28, in Milton.
Milton 9, Poynette/Portage 2
Milton scored eight goals in the final 50 minutes and junior Alex Rodenberg found the back of the net four times as the sixth-seeded Red Hawks picked up a WIAA Division 2 regional victory.
Eleventh-seeded Poynette/Portage United struck first with a quick goal in the 3rd minute, but junior Shelby Mack-Honold equalized with goal in the 15th minute.
Mack-Honold crossed up a Poynette/Portage defender just outside the right-side of the box, dribbled into the box and chipped the ball over the goalie.
In the 28th minute, it looked like Poynette/Portage was primed to reclaim the lead after a Milton handball led to a penalty kick.
However, freshman goalie Ginny Attwood made a diving save to preserve the tie.
“I wouldn’t say that was a momentum shift, but it allowed us to keep the momentum,” Milton head coach Kayla Hottinger said.
“For Ginny to pick us back up was big. If they score that goal, it’s a different game for a while,” Hottinger added.
Just before half, the Red Hawks got goals from Rodenberg and senior Makenzie Long, with both goals coming in the final five minutes of the half.
Senior Chloe Buescher assisted on both scores.
“I don’t think even after our first goal we responded that well for awhile,” Hottinger said. “It took awhile to get things going.”
Buescher found the back of the net for herself with a quick score out of the break to extend the advantage to 4-1.
The goals continued to come in the second half, five to be exact.
A big part of the Red Hawks late offensive success was figuring Poynette/Portage’s offside trap defense.
“It definitely prevented our movement forward, so once we figured to hold back and let it get over first it definitely helped,” Rodenberg said.
Long and freshman Mackenzie Deuel each found the back of the net and Rodenberg scored three more times.
Rodenberg ended the contest with four goals.
“It feels good. I wouldn’t be able to do it without my team, but it does feel good, especially in a playoff game to show up like that,” Rodenberg said.
“All season Alex has been kind of flying under the radar,” Hottinger said. “She’s stepped up huge this year for us, not even just on the field, but in a leadership role.”
Monona Grove 7, Milton 0
In the regional final, the Silver Eagles struck first in the 30th minute with a score from Ashley Price.
Monona Grove got two more goals before the half with scores from Gabi Arnold and Emma Dyer in the 38th minute and 40th minute, respectively.
Larissa Molstad and Dyer each added goals in the second half and Emma Goke netted the final two to put the seal on the Red Hawks’ season.
Attwood grabbed 13 saves for Milton in goal.
The Silver Eagles amassed 20 shots on goal to the Red Hawks five.
Overall, Milton got 11 shots up. Monona Grove recorded 27 shots.