After pummeling La Follette 7-0 on Thursday, Sept. 9, the Sun Prairie boys soccer team was riding high. Toting a 4-0-1 record, it rolled into a big matchup with Oregon on Saturday, Sept. 11. Ranked No. 2 in Division 2, the Panthers were no slouches. The teams played to a 2-2 draw, keeping the undefeated season alive for the Cardinals, still ranked No. 2 in Division 1.
The Cardinals are used to striking first, but that didn’t happen Saturday. Instead, the Panthers took advantage of a defensive breakdown from Sun Prairie and netted a goal just ten minutes into the match. It would be an uphill climb for the Cardinals.
Typically, the Cardinals dominate time of possession, but the speedy Panthers made it hard to do so. Still, Sun Prairie was able to create some opportunities for itself. Particularly, senior Gabe Voung was making opportunities. Time and again, he pierced the Oregon defense and slashed towards the goal. His aggression earned him a penalty kick as he was taken down in the box, but Oregon’s goalie made a tremendous, diving stop to maintain the lead for the Panthers.
Voung wasn’t done. He kept up the pace, earning another penalty kick thanks to another slide tackle in the box. He wouldn’t let this opportunity get away from him twice. He buried the equalizing goal with about ten minutes left in the first half.
Just before the half, Voung popped up again, this time with an assist to his brother Nathan. Gabe crossed it in to Nathan and Nathan did the rest, hammering the ball past the goalie and giving his Cardinals a 2-1 lead which they would take into halftime.
It was obvious that Oregon had taken notes from Gabe Voung’s aggressive play style when the Panthers returned from the halftime break. The Panthers were relentless, creating opportunity after opportunity. Eventually, they got what they were looking for with a penalty kick. Sun Prairie keeper Carsten Ganter couldn’t get in front of the ball, the Panthers tied it up just eight minutes into the half.
Ganter and Oregon’s goalie locked it down from there. While both teams had some great looks, no more goals were scored. The final horn sounded, signifying a tie.
Next up, the Cardinals have a conference matchup. Sun Prairie will travel to Verona Tuesday, Sept. to take on the Wildcats. Verona is right up there with Sun Prairie, ranked No. 4 in Division 1.