McFarland High School boys soccer coach Brett Ogorzalek didn’t know what to expect from Sugar River, the Spartans opponent in the Oct. 26 WIAA Division 3 regional championship game. Normally, a powerhouse in the Capitol Conference, the Sugar River co-op consisting of players from Belleville and New Glarus High Schools, entered the game with Breckin Faber as the team’s leading goal scorer with 17 and Ryan Downing with 15 assists.
Yet, the Spartans shut down Sugar River’s biggest scoring weapons by using Zach Nichols, one of their own scoring weapons in a 4-0 win to advance to the sectional semifinal against visiting Platteville/Lancaster on Oct. 31.
Nichols tallied one goal and two assists as McFarland outshot Sugar River 37-8 and forced goaltender Julian Lutz to make 19 saves. It was the Spartans sixth shutout in its last seven games.
As for Nichols, he scored an unassisted goal in the 22nd minute to put McFarland on top. A minute later, Ethan Nichols found the back of the net with Zach Nichols earning the assist.
Vince Seils increased the lead to 3-0 in the 30th minute off another Zach Nichols assist.
McFarland wouldn’t score again until the 71st minute as Max Binger put one between the pipes off a helper from Jack McGinn.
Matt Schutt and Austin Miller shared goaltending duties and got some work. Schutt stopped five shots, and Miller made two saves.
Sugar River ended its season with an overall record of 12-8-1. McFarland improved to 14-2-4.
Platteville/Lancaster enters the sectionals with a record of 11-1-1 after beating Evansville 4-2 in its regional championship.
Spartans 10, Edgerton 0
Eight first-half goals lifted the Spartans to an easy win over the Crimson Tide in the Oct. 24 regional semifinal game at McFarland.
Jack Bartzen had a three-goal hat trick, Seils scored twice, and Max Binger had a goal and two assists.
Zach Nichols, Brett Connor, Ben Hoang and Gray Tambling also found the back of the net, while Ian Loss, Mason Brown and Grant Newcomer were credited with assists.
The game was called after Tambling’s goal in the 69th minute due to the 10-goal mercy rule.
Ogorzalek said Edgerton is a well-coached team with talented athletes going through a rough period.
“I have a ton of respect for how they started the program. They had nothing a few years ago,” Ogorzalek said. “It was good to see our guys come out and play well, and take care of business.”
The Spartans pounded Edgerton with 41 shots as Crimson Tide goaltender Ben Leikness made 19 saves.
Schutt and Miller both played net for McFarland with Miller making one save.
Edgerton ended its season 1-13 overall and 0-7 in the Rock Valley Conference.