Six down. One to go.
The Waunakee girls’ soccer team won each of their games this week – both Badger North contests – to put themselves one win away from a Badger North title.
Beaver Dam was Waunakee’s first opponent on Friday.
Beaver Dam 0
Sarah McLaughlin opened the scoring just 41 seconds into the game against the Golden Beavers. It was the first of six goals in two games for McLaughlin; she picked up hat tricks in both games to lead the Warriors.
“She’s just a ballhawk,” said Waunakee’s Head Coach Ben Voss. “She’s just always around the ball, she’s always putting herself in a position to either intercept a ball, get a block, a deflection, pick up a through-ball, tap in a missed shot opportunity or putback… That’s not a luck thing. You create your own luck; that’s a skillset.”
Lexis Savola added a goal 30 minutes later on an assist from Anne Dotzler to put the Warriors up 2-0. The final goal of the first half was scored by Grace Johnson in the 41st minute, but the scoring didn’t get truly out of hand until the second half.
McLaughlin kicked off the scoring in the second half, finding the back of the goal 19 seconds after play began. Up 4-0, Waunakee then had a wave of goals arrive.
Over the course of less than two minutes, three Warriors – Maddie Farnsworth, Isabelle Barmore and McLaughlin – beat Beaver Dam’s goalie to turn the four-goal lead into a seven-goal lead.
That frenzied pace of one goal every 39 seconds simply couldn’t continue, though. Over the final 35 minutes, Mya Jansen and Lacey LaMere also found the back of the net, and the Warriors cruised to a 9-0 victory.
Goalies Alyssa Kuhn and Mikaila Olsen combined to make three saves on the night to preserve a shutout.
On Monday, Waunakee’s impressive streak continued with a win over DeForest.
With a win over the Norskies, Waunakee could set the stage for a winner-take-all showdown with Sauk Prairie.
“We addressed it,” said Voss. “We just said, ‘Hey, here’s what we’ve got left.’ Nobody on our team has been a part of a conference championship team the last three years.”
McLaughlin quickly removed any drama from the game. She scored twice in the game’s first six minutes – on assists from Dotzler and Farnsworth – to give Waunakee a lead they’d never relinquish.
Though possession time was more evenly matched than against Beaver Dam, the Warrior defense actually allowed less shots on goal than they had against the Golden Beavers.
Kuhn and Olsen each made one save on the game, which was enough to keep the Norskies scoreless.
McLaughlin put the exclamation point on the 3-0 victory by recording the final goal of her second straight hat trick early in the second half, scoring on an assist from Josie Bono.
“She’s a finisher…” Voss added. “I’ve not had the pleasure of coaching somebody like that in quite a while.”
The win was Waunakee’s fifth straight, and put their record at 13-1-2 (6-0-0 Badger North) on the season.
The showdown with Sauk Prairie will decide the Badger North. Each team enters Thursday’s contest with an unbeaten record in conference. The Warriors do have a slight advantage, as Sauk Prairie’s conference record includes a tie. This means Waunakee will win the Badger North with either a win or a tie. Start time for Thursday’s home game is scheduled for 7 p.m.