Megan Barber (left) completes a swift kick into the net for Union Grove during the Broncos 12-1 defeat of visiting Racine St. Catherine’s on Saturday (Jason Arndt/Southern Lakes Newspapers).

Union Grove takes out frustration following day

By Tim Wester

After a record-breaking season in 2018, the Union Grove girls’ soccer team has lofty expectations this spring, but meeting them requires pinpoint focus and effort every game.

The Broncos learned this lesson the hard way in last weekend’s Racine County Invitational.

Against fourth-ranked Racine Prairie on May 3, the fifth-ranked Broncos fell into a 3-1 deficit and lost its first game of the season 3-2.

“Coming off a 15-day layoff after spring break didn’t help us at all, and we were flat to start,” Union Grove coach Sean Jung said. “We were down two goals in the opening 10 minutes.”

The Hawks held a 2-0 lead for the first 25 minutes of the first half before Alexa Panyk ignited the Broncos with a goal off a Peyton Killberg cross in the 26th minute.

However, the Hawks answered with Kate McPhee’s second goal of the half in the 41st minute and lead 3-1 at halftime.

The Broncos proved to be stronger in the second half and held the Hawks scoreless to stay in contention.

“We were down 3-1 at the half and we regrouped and changed our tactics a little bit,” Jung said. “We were flat and looked tired in the first 45 minutes, so we dropped another centermid to help us match up. We were much better defensively but having to chase the game it was hard to keep consistent shape.”

Jung’s optimism grew when freshman Paige Cotton cut the deficit to 3-2 with an impressive solo goal in the 75th minute.

The Broncos kept the pressure on the Hawks in the final minutes with multiple opportunities but were unable to score the tying goal.

“We finished the match in a flurry with several corners and shots to tie the match but failed to equalize,” Jung said. “I wish we could have that game back, but in life there are no do overs.”

The Broncos, meanwhile, took their frustrations out on Racine St. Catherine’s in the second game of the invite on May 4.

Natalie Oatsvall had a hat trick in the first half while Kendra Hoffman and Megan Barber each scored a pair of goals to help the Broncos dismantle the Angels 12-1.

“The girls let out their frustration on St. Cat’s,” Jung said. “They were angry and ready to make amends for the loss.”

The angry Broncos scored nine goals in the first 25 minutes of action to get their point across to the competition. Oatsvall scored three goals in the first 9 minutes, while Panyk, Hoffman, Adrianna Rodriguez, and Killberg all found the back of the net 24 minutes into the game.

Add in St. Cat’s scoring a goal in their own net for good measure, and it was 9-0 by the 25th minute.

The Broncos continued to pour it on the hapless Angels from there.

Barber notched two goals in the 41st and 51st minutes respectively before Hoffman rounded out the scoring onslaught with a goal in the 52nd minute.

“We scored early and often, and never took our foot off the accelerator,” Jung said.

The Broncos look to keep up the pressure Saturday when they travel to Wauwatosa East.