For the Antigo Times
Following Tuesday’s shortened match at Clintonville, Thursday evening saw the Antigo boys soccer teams host Medford at home. Both the JV and varsity matches proved to be exciting, finally shaking off some nagging injuries, with the JV team winning 5-3 and the varsity squad picking up a loss.
The JV team won its first match of the season 5-3. Junior Tanner Stueck collected a hat trick with three goals across the match. Stueck’s first goal came assisted by a booming kick from keeper Ben Lewandowski, and his second goal came assisted by Ryan Fay.
Stueck’s third goal was unassisted. Fay also scored, assisted by Izaiah Schmidt, and finally Schmidt also scored on a PK near the end of the match.
On the varsity field, the Robins struggled in the first half, allowing five goals but scoring one.
“All match, but especially in the first half, we had trouble keeping up with a few particular Medford players,” varsity coach Ben Wilhelm said. “Medford earned those goals but they came out of near impossible situations for us, where it came down to a one-on-one situation in a tight space, giving the keeper no time to adjust.”
After allowing three goals at four, 10, and 17 minutes, Antigo held and focused offensively, allowing Antigo freshman Brody Bunnell to score as his shot bounced off the hands of Medford’s keeper, off the post and across the goal line. Unfortunately, Medford was able to answer two more times shortly after.
“The first half could have easily ended down just 3-1, but it ended 5-1,” Coach Wilhelm continued. “Even so that isn’t terrible considering up to that point we’d recorded almost an equal number of shots on goal that could have easily been on the scoreboard.”
In the second half Antigo continued to show offensive strength, scoring a total of four more times, all in the later part of the half. Unfortunately Medford continued scoring collecting six more goals across the second half. Senior Tyler Husnick led Antigo in shots, followed by a multi way tie between Bunnell, Noah Samolinski, Tommy Blink, and Zander Aros.
Coach Wilhelm explained, saying, “We found a really great offensively minded lineup that led to some great combination play and solid pressure against Medford, so much so that I think we occasionally took them by surprise with our tenacity today.”
Junior Luis Hernandez had started the game in goal, but after allowing seven and saving 10, he took a turn on the field late in the game, further energizing the offense. In the first 60 minutes of the game Tyler Husnick kept Antigo’s offense pushing, but sidelined with some aches, offered to take a turn in goal allowing Hernandez to bolster Antigo’s offense and fuel an attempt at a comeback.
Scoring in the second half for Antigo started with Noah Samolinski struggling through three defenders. Antigo’s third goal came from Brody Bunnell who again powered a shot through the keeper’s gloves. The Robin’s fourth and fifth goals came from Samolinski again, specifically with help from Jackson Smits and Luis Hernandez on both final goals.
“After a slump with some injuries, we finally got to again see some glimpses of what we saw at the beginning of the season. While we do have work to do, this is some of the best play I’ve seen in years, and our players see that too, and believe this will be the starting point of some solid success this season,” Wilhelm said in closing.