Despite flu, goalie Anderson notches 13 saves in OT thriller

Burlington players walk off the field for the last time June 10. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)


By Mike Ramczyk

A fifth straight conference championship and school-best 15-2-3 record highlighted the Burlington girls soccer team’s greatest season in program history.

It almost ended at state, as the Lady Demons took Oregon to double overtime in early June before falling, 1-0.

It was Burlington’s first appearance in a sectional final, and the Lady Demons came within a few minutes of pulling out a victory and advancing to the state tournament.

With several leading scorers and goalie Cora Anderson returning this spring, don’t be surprised if Burlington finally makes it to the state’s grandest stage – Uihlein Park in Milwaukee.


Check out the original story, as published in the June 15 Burlington Standard Press:


OREGON – It was going to take a perfect kick to beat Burlington freshman goalie Cora Anderson.

Saturday afternoon in a WIAA Division 2 sectional final, the Demon girls varsity soccer team was one win away from its first state tournament appearance, and an ailing Anderson played the game of her life.

Treated with an IV just hours before the 4 p.m. match, Anderson nabbed 13 saves, several in spectacular, unbelievable fashion, but unfortunately she fell victim to the perfect kick.

It took 108 minutes for the relentless Oregon attack to crack through, as Minnesota-Duluth recruit Holly Kaboord boomeranged a kick around a wall of Burlington defenders and into the top right corner of the net from 30 yards out to give the Panthers a 1-0 victory and a third straight trip to state.

Burlington finished its deepest playoff run in school history at 15-2-3.

After a grueling, nearly three-hour affair that featured temperatures in the high-80s and winds up to 23 miles per hour, Burlington senior Ashlyn Barry lauded the efforts of Anderson.

“Unbelievable,” Barry said. “That’s the only word. She was all over the place. Saves that a normal person shouldn’t make. She kept us in the game for sure.”

Anderson’s highlights included eight saves in the first half, including a leaping stop to tip the ball over the net and a forward dive to cut off and almost collide with an Oregon forward.

In the 60th minute, Anderson, who said she has only eaten jello and a popsicle in the last three days, thwarted a Kaboord penalty kick with a swift dive to her right.

“I’m disappointed and sad, we were close,” said coach Joel Molitor. “Kaboord hit a perfect shot. Cora reacted a little slow, and that was it. Cora is such an experienced player and mature beyond her years. Even being sick, we know we can count on her. Having someone like that is such a safety valve, and our defense was excellent. Lexie (Reesman) was battling illness, too. You can’t ask them to do any more than they did.”

The Burlington Demons pose with their regional championship plaque at Burlington High School. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)

Molitor acknowledged the magnitude of this season, as the Demons knocked off Milton and won a sectional game for the first time in his six seasons.

“This is the best, most complete team I’ve ever had,” he added. “They met expectations, and they exceeded them.”

Playing against the wind in the first half, chances were scarce for the Demons. A few Morgan McCourt breakaways were turned away as Oregon defenders were able to bump her off her path.

It wasn’t until the 106th minute that Burlington came close to taking a 1-0 lead. Junior Jessa Burling took control at midfield and out-sprinted two Oregon defenders all the way to the box, where her open kick sailed over the net.

About 10 minutes earlier, Barry surged ahead for an opening, but was tripped and landed head over heels. A livid Molitor pleaded for a penalty, but there was no call.

Burlington was called for 15 total fouls, including three close, makeable penalty kicks. Oregon had less than five fouls.

“It’s pretty emotional right now, and it’s difficult to cope with this,” said senior Adrianna White. “We have so many seniors, and we’ve been really close this year. It’s a big loss, but it’s awesome because we made history for Burlington soccer.”