Schaetz goal lifts Preble over Notre Dame
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY – A Jackson Schaetz goal in the 63rd minute lifted the Green Bay Preble boys’ soccer team to a 1-0 Fox River Classic Conference victory over Notre Dame Academy April 27 at Preble High School.
“This is our last home game of the regular season,” said Chris Becker, Preble head coach. “I told the guys – games like today, you’re going to be talking about at your 20-year reunion. This is a momentum-builder and a huge win against the leader of our conference. We’ve handled adversity the past few weeks, and now we’re ready to go into the playoffs on a high note.”
On a blustery and rainy night, Notre Dame nearly struck nine minutes in.
Garett Watzka found himself open in front of the net after forward Emmett Lawton fed him a cross from the right sideline.
Watzka couldn’t get a clean look, as the ball popped over the crossbar and out of play.
“We like to play through our outsides,” said Michael Prudisch, Notre Dame head coach. “We had our chances early and couldn’t pop one through. Their goaltender (Mathias Lyons) stepped up and covered lots of ground.”
With the wind at their back, the Hornets found their first opportunity at the 25-minute mark.
Carter Wiernasz broke away from a pair of Tritons’ defenders but hit the left post with a shot, keeping the game scoreless.
A few minutes later, Lyons made a diving save, as Notre Dame couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity.
“Mathias has been building these past four years,” Becker said. “I’m proud of him. He’s paid his dues.”
Despite going into the wind to start the second half, the Hornets kept the ball in the Tritons’ zone for much of the first 15 minutes.
In the 54th minute, Abraham Gomez came to the rescue for Notre Dame, as he kicked the ball out of play, as goalie Omar Cendejas was out of position.
However, Preble wouldn’t be denied in the 63rd minute.
Oscar Hernandez was fouled, and he took a free-kick from 41 yards out.
The shot was kicked directly in front of the net, and Schaetz connected on a header for the game-winner.
“I had faith in Oscar,” said Schaetz. “I followed the ball to the end and put it in. It’s memorable to do it on senior night and have the guys there with me afterward.”
Notre Dame applied the pressure in the final part of the game with John Sack and Elliot Bordini getting good looks but not finding the goal, and the Hornets prevailed in the few tense final minutes.
“Unfortunately, with high school kids, they get a bit emotional,” said Becker. “They don’t always think about the right fouls. At times, we cleared the ball out of play as opposed to moving the ball around and playing to our strengths. We were fortunate to hold on.”
Preble will travel to Ashwaubenon April 29, while Notre Dame hits the road against Bay Port.
Notre Dame: 0, 0 — 0
Green Bay Preble: 0, 1 — 1