The Sun Prairie boys soccer team has not lost a match since Sept. 14. That tough game against conference rival Verona lit something inside the Cardinals as they launched dominant 14-game undefeated streak, going 11-0-3 over that span. The impressive displayed pushed Sun Prairie to finish 2nd in the Big Eight this season, behind only Verona in the final standings with a final record of 7-1-1.

Sun Prairie’s final regular season record of 15-1-5 is the best the Cardinals have ever had.

The final week of the regular season for Sun Prairie was a continuation of its dominance as the Cardinals won two games and finished with a tie in the other. First up was the tie against Madison West. The Regents enjoyed a successful campaign this season, finishing fourth in the Big Eight. They proved to be a solid match against Sun Prairie Tuesday, Oct. 12.

Sun Prairie struck early. No, like, really early. Just over a minute into the game, the Cardinals were awarded a corner kick. Junior Riley Stevens lobbed the ball into the box and senior captain Gabe Voung was ready for it. Voung, Sun Prairie’s leading goal scorer this season, headed the ball past the keeper to give the Cardinals a quick 1-0 lead.

It was crickets from the Sun Prairie offense for the rest of the game. Sure, there were dangerous chances as Sun Prairie has a very fast and talented attack, but nothing else ever came to fruition. The early goal wasn’t the only one of the game, though. Another came from Madison West.

About 20 minutes after the initial goal, the Regents scored an equalizer. They snuck a goal past Sun Prairie’s keeper to tie things up at 1 apiece. That is exactly how the game ended, too, as neither team could get anything else into the back of the net.

“We played well against a quality team,” Sun Prairie head coach Tok Kim said. “The tie kept Sun Prairie in the running for the second-place finish in the conference. I was very pleased with the team’s performance, although I wish we finished on a few of the critical scoring opportunities.”

That race to maintain 2nd place in the conference standings was put on hold as Sun Prairie faced an out-of-conference opponent Thursday, Oct. 14. The Cardinals hosted Oak Creek, a team averaging over two goals per game entering the contest.

The Knights made things hard on the Cardinals. Nothing came easy, despite Sun Prairie dominating possession for much of the game. It took until late in the first half for either team to score. I think you can guess who broke the stalemate.

Sun Praire’s Gabe Voung was the sole goal scorer in the first half. It was nearly freshman Lucas Albright who netted the score, but Oak Creek’s keeper made a tremendous save. The only issue was that he left the ball spinning in play. Voung charged ahead and chipped it past the keeper, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead that would last into halftime.

It didn’t take long for Sun Prairie to add to its lead once the second half began. Just 17 seconds into the second, Sun Prairie struck again. This time, it was sophomore Daniel Worrell. Worrell somehow managed to stay onsides as senior Andrew Nolan flicked a perfect pass over the defense and onto the foot of Worrell. He did the rest, dribbling up and shooting past the goalie to give Sun Prairie a 2-0 lead.

Down but not out, Oak Creek responded. Mohammad Saed was the recipient of a set play by the Knights. Sun Prairie lost him in the scramble to prevent the play from developing and he headed the ball in to narrow the lead. Still, the Cardinals led 2-1.

The two teams battled for awhile before Sun Prairie delivered the dagger. Junior Mason Borgardt put on an impressive display, taking the ball by himself up the right side and pushing past the Oak Creek defense. He fired a rocket into the back of the net, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 lead that they would not relinquish.

Sun Prairie got out of the game with a win as the final conference opponent of the season, Janesville Craig, was up the following day, Friday, Oct. 15. The Cardinals hosted the Cougars with a chance to claim 2nd place in the conference.

It was clear from the start that Craig was overmatched. Sun Prairie exploded for four goals in the first half. The Voung brothers accounted for three of them. Gabe scored two. His first was the inaugural goal of the game, assisted by Nolan just three minutes into the game. He would score again about 25 minutes into the first half, assisted by Worrell.

Sandwiched between Gabe’s two first-half goals was a goal from sophomore Landon Holmen, again assisted by Worrell. Nathan Voung finished out the first-half scoring, taking a nice entry pass from Riley Stevens and scoring to make the Sun Prairie lead 4-0 entering the half.

The Cardinals’ dominance extended into the second half. Less than five minutes in, Gabe Voung struck again. Nolan sailed a beautiful cross to Voung, which he fired into the back of the net to claim yet another hat trick. With a 5-0 lead, the Cardinals stepped off the gas as to preserve themselves for the playoffs.

With just minutes left, Sun Prairie added one more score. Just as he had done the day prior, Borgardt put on an impressive solo show. He pushed the ball upfield and weaved through Cougar defenders, scoring an unassisted goal to make the lead 6-0.

The win solidified Sun Prairie’s sole possession of 2nd place in the conference and wrapped up what was a historically great season for the Cardinals. Next up: playoffs.

The Cardinals’ outstanding season has earned them a No. 3 seed in the playoffs. This means plenty of home-field advantage if the Cardinals manage to make a deep run. First up is a match with Madison La Follette at Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium. If the Cardinals advance, they would face the winner of Oconomowoc-Middleton in the second round.

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