Sports recap from busy weekend including cross country, soccer
AHS Cross Country
Insight from Coach April Sadogierski from Saturday’s Smiley Invitational at Tribute Golf Course in Wausau…
“[It was] perfect conditions for running today at the famous Smiley Invite. The sun and rain held off keeping the temperature low and dry,” Sadogierski said.
“The boys finished 14th overall. Leading the boys was Zach Morris followed by Thomas Nelson. Placing third for Antigo was Spencer Fittante, placing higher for Antigo than [in] previous races. Next was a duo of Jarod McFarlane and Deiontae Barner finishing with the same time and scoring points for Antigo,” the Antigo coached continued.
The Antigo boys’ posted the following times – Morris (19:03), Nelson (19:50), Fittante (20:14), McFarlane (20:17), Barner (20:17), Dane Aros (20:33), and Nick Marshal (21:01).
Amongst the D1 competition, Lakeland took first place overall in the boy’s Division 1 small varsity race, posting a team score of 64 points. The Thunderbirds were followed by: 2) La Crosse Central (96), 3) River Falls (109), 4) Deforest (116), and 5) Oregon (139) to round out the top five.
“The girls finished 12th overall,” Sadogierski explained. “Leading for Antigo was Jena Nonnenmacher followed by Emily Gravitter. The girls had a great experience running their first ever Smiley race, other then returning runner Dorothy [Mifflin] all girls were new to this course. The Smiley is unlike the other races. There are many more runners and it’s shocking to be cheered on by a constant row of people for the entire 5k race. Good job runners.”
The Robin girls game in as – Nonnenmacher (22:41), Gravitter (23:07), Bobbi Novak (24:13), Mifflin (25:23), Jami Nonnenmacher (25:26), Gabby Held (26:05), Maddie Spencer (26:55), and Dani Wild (28:50).
With Antigo’s 12th place finish as a girls’ team, the top five in the Lady Robins’ division finished: 1) Waunakee (83), 2) La Crosse Central (90), 3) Pulaski (94), 4) River Falls (97), and 5) Lakeland (114).
AHS Boys Soccer
Busy week for the boys comes to an end with a close game against Peshtigo in home tourney…
This past Saturday, the Red Robins varsity soccer squad hosted their annual home tournament against guests Gresham and Peshtigo. Three Lakes had been slated to compete as well, but due to injury had to drop out. Play started at 10 a.m. with a match between Gresham and Antigo. Antigo had faced Gresham a month prior, at Gresham’s tournament, with a 6-1 result.
Gresham opened strong with goals at two minutes, and then at seven and eight minutes as well, putting Antigo on its heels. After reorganization, Antigo held until allowing another goal at 24 minutes in. Finally, at 26 minutes, Antigo’s Luis Hernandez was able answer after faking out a defender, and, after hitting the goal post the ball crossed the goal line. Gresham answered with a final goal at 28 minutes, and the 30 minute half ended with Antigo down 5-1.
In second half play, Gresham again struck first at 37 minutes. At 48 minutes, Antigo was awarded a penalty kick, and Hernandez was able to score again with a quick ball on the right side of the net while the keeper dove left. Unfortunately, Gresham answered a minute later and one last time at 53 minutes to close out the match, defeating Antigo 8-2.
In the first match for Antigo, Hernandez and sophomore Noah Samolinski led offensively with three shots on goal each, and junior Tanner Stueck also saw two shots on goal.Defensively for Antigo, junior Izaiah Schmidt led the team from the goalkeeper position, gaining experience for his new role as starting JV keeper.
“It was clear that both our teams have made progress since last time we met. But Gresham was simply able to better work together offensively than we were in this first match of the day. Afterwards, we immediately turned our thoughts towards mixing things up for a better second match versus Peshtigo. We had faced Peshtigo 5 days earlier, and had resolved perform better than in that prior match where we’d lost 10-0,” Coach Ben Wilhelm noted.
By the final match of the day at 1:30 p.m., Gresham had already secured a first place tournament win, having just defeated Peshtigo, and Antigo previously. This left the final match to determine second and third place.
Play opened with fairly even possession, but Peshtigo found the net first, at eight minutes, 12 minutes, and 14 minutes. But at 15 minutes in, Stueck worked the ball up along the left side, and dribbled around a defender, and was able to score. For the remaining fifteen minutes of the first half, possession still remained even. Five minutes before the end of the first half, Hernandez was able to cross from center to left where Stueck was waiting, and again worked around a defender for another excellent goal. But just before the close of the half, Peshtigo answered with one more goal, putting the score at 4-2.
Wilhelm commented, “Our second match of the day was much more exciting, and we played much more passionately. We were especially excited about Tanner’s excellent work collecting two goals in the first half! Our guys recognized the play we were capable of and were excited about continuing that into the second half.”
In the second half, Antigo increased their offensive push, working together much better, and nearly tripling their total shots compared to their first game. Unfortunately only one of those shots lead to an Antigo goal, again from Stueck for his third of the match. But despite Antigo’s efforts, the match closed in a loss, 4-3.
“I’m proud of our guys today, especially in the last match of the day, their sixth match in six days! This really showed the determination we’re capable of, and the character of these young men. And we have our heads up as we look to start a new week of play as we head hopeful into the second half of our season.” Coach Wilhelm noted in closing.
Friday, Sept. 16
This past Friday evening, the Antigo Boys Soccer team neared the end of their busiest week of competition with Newman Catholic of Wausau visiting for a 4:30 p.m. match.
Antigo’s defense shined with help from a back line of senior Jackson Smits, and juniors Brandon Lucht, Alex Gray, and Cullen Williams. Newman was held scoreless through most of the first half but unfortunately at the 26 minute mark Newman was awarded a penalty kick and scored. Possession was often even through the first half, and offensively junior Zach Reineke and sophomore Noah Samolinski lead Antigo with shots. With the score at 1-0 at half, Antigo paused to recollect and try to strategize to get on the scoreboard.
In second half play, Newman found the net fifteen minutes in at the 60 minute mark, off one unmarked man. As the half progressed, the Robins tried a few different offensive configurations, and maintained possession for at least 60% of the time, but were unable to score and answer their two point deficit.
Coach Wilhelm commented “Even though we were unable to score it was still a very exciting match to watch, where we often dominated play. In some ways it seemed that our offense was almost too eager, overshooting passes and not finding a rhythm. Our defense did well, and held scoring to a very minimum. But as a team we’re still reminding ourselves that we always need to be better. And we’re really looking forward Saturday’s home tournament matches!”
Thursday, Sept. 15
Going back to Thursday evening the boys soccer team hosted another GNC opponent, Rhinelander in a 4:30 p.m. match. The Hodags drew first blood with a goal at 5 minutes. Then later, near the 20 minute mark, Antigo would get their first chance. Antigo sophomore Noah Samolinski was tripped and fouled in the box resulting in an awarded PK. Antigo senior Ty Husnick elected to take the shot, and secured a goal for Antigo with a fast shot just barely in the air and to the left of the keeper.
Antigo Junior Luis Hernandez started in goal for Antigo, recording 12 saves in the first half. First half play was a bit slow for both teams. Antigo’s offense only recorded a few shots on goal, and a few more additional shots. Antigo lost focus at 24 minutes and 29 minutes allowing two more Hodag goals in the first half. Antigo closed the first half with a manageable 1-3 deficit.
At halftime, Antigo parents were honored.
“I’m really thankful for the group of parents we have. They’re very supportive of their sons and of the Antigo Soccer program. This is a perfect week and evening to thank them as we have a very busy week, including an upcoming home weekend tournament. So while the players are busy playing hard matches, their parents have been supportive in taking care of them during this busy time, and they’ve been working hard to support the program especially through concessions and a team dinner,” Wilhelm acknowledged.
The Hodags came out stronger in the second half, scoring 10 minutes in at the 55 minute mark. After another allowed goal at 70 minutes, Antigo switched keepers, putting junior Zach Reineke in goal and Hernandez on the field. Reineke recorded about 6 saves in a very short amount of time, including a set of four amazing ricochet saves. But in that series a ball caught Reineke’s wrist, and although he sustained no permanent injury, he was removed from the game. With Antigo now shorthanded, Junior Brandon Lucht took over keeper duties for the remainder of the match. While Antigo’s offense struggled to work together and push up the field, Rhinelander continued to score, for a total of seven in the second half, resulting in a final score of 10-1.
“We were disappointed with the results of the match. As a team we discussed that we’ve seen some improvements, but we need to be much better. We again saw a first half that was competitive, but at the same time could have been better. And while we were thankful for a competitive first half, we tolerated a spotty second half that needed to be better. So now we’re looking forward to this weekend’s matches to push to secure some wins,” Wilhelm added.