Seymour one win away from state
By Murray Gleffe
SEYMOUR — The Seymour boys’ soccer team proved it’s not how you start a game but how you finish.
The No. 1-seeded Thunder exploded for six second-half goals in a 7-1 victory Oct. 29 over Waupaca in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal game at Seymour High School.
The Thunder will play for a state berth Oct. 31 when they play another No. 1 seed, Roncalli/Two Rivers at Seymour.
“Waupaca committed a lot of people to defending,” said Todd Messner, Seymour head coach. “As we were attacking, we knew we’d get some opportunities, even on missed shots with balls kicking back out. We finally connected on a few of those in the final 45 minutes of the game.”
Despite Seymour peppering the nets early, the Comets struck first.
In the 16th minute, senior midfielder Dawson Patzke was awarded a free kick from 24 yards out after a Thunder foul.
Patzke found the back of the net after Seymour appeared to still be setting its defense up.
“Dawson is an excellent spot-on kicker … especially when he has time to read the play,” said Jeremy Koehler, Waupaca head coach. “After the goal, we knew Seymour was going to come back. We had to keep playing our game.”
Opportunity kept knocking on the door for Seymour, but Waupaca goaltender Zachary Mondello made every save.
Everything changed in the 42nd minute when Thunder forward Teig Driessen got free on a breakaway, used his foot speed and blasted a shot into the right part of the net to even the game at 1-1.
The second half onslaught started in the 57th minute when Pace Jefferson notched his first goal of the evening to give Seymour a 2-1 lead.
Eight minutes later, Driessen laced a right-footed blast from the right half of the field that Mondello punched back out.
Unfortunately, for the Comets, Seymour’s Chase Solem was waiting in front of the net to put the ball in for a 3-1 advantage.
“We knew we had to go harder than we were,” said Solem, a forward. “In the second half, we put everything together with good passes. We have to play two complete halves moving forward.”
In the 72nd minute, Shane Doxtator put a high looping left-footed kick over the outstretched hands of Mondello to give the home team a 4-1 lead.
The Thunder added three goals in the last 15 minutes of the game when Driessen (75th minute), Solem (81st minute) and Sam Dudley (88th) all scored.
If Seymour can beat Roncalli/Two Rivers Saturday, it will play in Marshfield Nov. 7 during the state tournament.
The Thunder has gone to state twice before, including a season ago when it lost in the Division 3 state semifinals.
“Roncalli/Two Rivers has been building a tremendous program,” Messner said. “We’re going to be in for a battle. They don’t have any weaknesses. We have Friday to prepare and to correct a couple of things for Saturday.”
Waupaca: 1, 0 — 1
Seymour: 1, 6 — 7