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Welch’s goals carry De Pere over Preble

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

Hannah Welch
De Pere’s Megan Wettstein, right, controls the ball with Green Bay Preble’s Ivory Donald close by. De Pere won the April 30 game, 4-3. Rich Palzewic Photo

GREEN BAY – De Pere girls’ soccer player Hannah Welch scored two goals in a 22-second span in a 4-3 Fox River Classic Conference victory over Green Bay Preble April 30.

Leading 4-1 halfway through the second half, the Hornets scored a pair of goals late to make things interesting.

“It gave our team a huge momentum boost,” said the sophomore Welch, whose two goals both came in the 11th minute. “On the first one, I wasn’t really where I was supposed to be – I should have been wider. On the second one, Sophie Hubbard had the ball and I just made a run.”

Welch had a golden opportunity for the hat trick 12 minutes later but was stopped by Hornets goalie Ileaha Anderson from point-blank range.

“I had the opportunity for the hat trick,” added Welch. “I was saying to myself, ‘far post, far post,’ but Ileaha knew I was going there, too.”

De Pere (5-2-1 overall, 2-0-1 FRCC) has won two straight, while Preble (7-2-2, 1-1-1) continues its strong play.

“Let’s give credit to Preble for continuing to fight,” said De Pere head coach Andy Steger. “They didn’t give up. It was tough conditions tonight. At times, I think we took too many touches, so we need to clean some things up and learn how to finish things off. It was nice to hang on for the victory. From here on out, our schedule will get very busy.”

After having a difficult time generating any offense in the first half, the Hornets came out after intermission with added energy.

Preble’s Payton Cunningham tallied seven minutes into the second half to make it 2-1.

Any momentum the Hornets had was erased when De Pere’s Annika Zastrow and Taylor Witteck scored back-to-back goals in the 61st and 63rd minutes, respectively, for a 4-1 Redbirds’ lead.

“For the first 15 to 20 minutes of the game, we didn’t play the game we know how to play,” said Preble head coach Adam Ropson. “With a team like De Pere, you can’t play like that. Their goals came during seven-minute swings in each half. Our team fought hard trailing 2-0 and 4-1. De Pere is an incredibly coached team, so we can build from this.”

Down 4-1, Preble got consecutive goals from Corrine Gerzek (71st minute) and Lily Sinkler (89th minute) to close out the scoring.

The teams deviated from their normal-colored uniforms to raise funds for the American Cancer Society (ACS).

De Pere wore purple tops, while Preble touted pink.

In addition, all proceeds from the concession stand and $85 from the “Miracle Minute” at halftime were donated to the ACS.

“The FRCC does this as a whole,” added Ropson. “Everyone knows someone that has been affected by cancer. We want to raise awareness and help any way we can. I just wish the weather would have been better.”

The game was played in 40-degree temperatures and rainy conditions.

Box score

De Pere: 2, 2 – 4
Preble: 0, 3 – 3

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