PLATTEVILLE — The Platteville/Lancaster girls soccer team took over sole possession of first place in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference with back-to-back league wins over Dodgeville/Mineral Point and Galena/River Ridge last Tuesday and Thursday.
The Hilmen (3–3, 3–0 SWC) blanked the host Dodgers 3–0 last Tuesday, then dominated the visiting Pirates 4–0 Thurday afternoon.
Platteville junior Sierra Hooper scored at the 29:07 mark of the first half off an assist from Platteville sophomore Courtney Budden.
The Hillmen kept the pressure on in the second half and sophomore Jaelyn White scored off the corner kick from Sierra Hooper with 14 minutes left in the match.
Platteville sophomore Alexis Thompson added an insurance goal in the 84th minute to account for the final score.
The Hillmen wasted little time gaining the upper hand in Thursday’s conference battle with second-place Galena/River Ridge (5–3 SWC).
Freshman Tina Muzinga scored on a nice pass from junior Lydia Murphy in the 5th minute, then Murphy added an unassisted goal four minutes later.
Muzinga made it 3–0 late in the opening half on an assist by Budden. Senior goalie played the field late in the match and scored her first career goal on a Muzinga assist in the final minute to compete the 4–0 victory.
“On the whole I’ve been quite pleased with the way we’ve started our season,” said Hillmen head coach Brandon Pink. “The weather has certainly created a challenge for us, but the girls have shown a fantastic attitude and they’ve worked hard to not let it impact them. Up until this Friday’s game against Wisconsin Heights, I’ve been very pleased with our performances. I tell the girls before every game that, as long as we feel like we’ve left everything on the field, we can be proud of ourselves. For the most part we’ve done that. We’ve controlled every conference game we’ve played. And in our non-conference games, Monroe and Sugar River stick out to me, we showed very well against really tough opponents.
“In my eyes, the girls have done a fantastic job of buying into our system and our team mentality. I really enjoy that, when we’ve played well this season, it’s because our team is playing well. We have not had to rely on individuals to dig us out of a hole. In our 4–0 win against Galena, we had three different goal scorers. In our 3–0 win over Dodgeville, we had three different goal scorers. And in each game, we held our opponent under three shots total. Those state lines require a good team effort. We have a number of weapons this season, and the girls are very unselfish.”
The Platteville co-op closed out the week with a 2–1 non-conference loss at Wisconsin Heights.
The Hillmen scored first on an unnassited goal by Hooper in the 7th minute, but couldn’t find the back of the net again despite constant pressure from Hooper, Muzinga, Murphy, Budden and White.
The Vanguards tied the game on a goal by Britney Straubhaar in the 36th minute, then Samantha Bollig scored the eventual game-winner just before the half in the 42nd minute.
Despite Friday’s setback, Pink is happy with his team’s early-season progress.
“We seem to have found our identity and we are playing the style of soccer we like to play,” said Pink. “Wisconsin Heights was disheartening. That was the first time where we looked flat and didn’t play to our capacity. It was a disappointing end to a really good week. But my sense with this group is that it will become motivation for us. I’d rather get our bad performances out now, and learn from our mistakes.”
The Hillmen traveled to River Valley on Tuesday and will now host Richland Center Thursday at 5 p.m. and Prairie du Chien on Tuesday.
Platteville/Lancaster 3, Dodgeville/Mineral Point 0
(from Tuesday, April 24 @ Dodgeville)
Platteville/Lancaster 1 2 — 3
Dodgeville/Mineral Point 0 0 — 0
First half — P/L: Sierra Hooper (Courtney Budden) 29:07.
Second half — P/L: Jaelyn White (Sierra Hooper) 76:23, Alexis Thompson 83:30.
Saves — P/L: Sami Knockel 0; D/MP: Alexis Summerfield 4. Shots on Goal — P/L: 7; D/P: 0. Corner kicks — P/L: 8, D/MP: 0.
Galena/River Ridge 0
(from Thursday, April 26 @ Platteville)
Galena/River Ridge 0 0 — 0
Platteville/Lancaster 3 1 — 4
First half — P/L: Tina Muzinga (Lydia Murphy) 4:39, Murphy 8:24.
Second half — P/L: Muzinga (Courtney Budden) 34:48, Sami Knokel (Muzinga) 89:46.
Saves — P/L: Sami Knockel 0, Kenzi Tranel 1, G/RR: 5. Shots on Goal — P/L: 9; G/RR: 1. Corner kicks — P/L: 7, G/RR: 0.
Wisconsin Heights 2, Platteville/Lancaster 1
(from Friday, April 27 @ Mazomanie)
Platteville/Lancaster 1 0 — 1
Wisconsin Heights 1 1 — 2
First half — P/L: Sierra Hooper 6:10.
Second half — WH: Samantha Bollig 41:43, Britney Straubhaar 35:58.
Saves — P/L: Sami Knockel 3, WH: 3. Shots on Goal — P/L: 4; WH: 5. Corner kicks — P/L: 6, WH: 0.