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Southwest soccer advances after shootout win over Pulaski

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

GREEN BAY – Two 40-minute halves and a pair of 10-minute overtimes weren’t enough to decide the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 girls’ soccer sectional semifinal matchup between Green Bay Southwest and Pulaski June 9.

After a scoreless regulation and overtime, Southwest won in the seventh round of the shootout to advance to the sectional final Saturday, June 11, at Pulaski High School against No. 1-seeded Cedarburg, which has won its two postseason games by a combined 17-0 margin.

The Trojans’ last trip to the state tournament was in 2015.

“This group got to the same spot last year and lost in a shootout,” second-year Southwest Head Coach Jay Draves said. “The challenge was to go further this season. It’s an honor to still be playing.”

Draves said a shootout is a tough way to end a game.

“Those were two evenly matched teams,” he said. “We could have been here all night – it’s a horrible way to lose. Even looking at it from the winning side, you have respect for the opposition. Unfortunately, a game has to end that way after playing 100 minutes.”

Knowing how Pulaski has been playing lately, Draves said he figured it would be a one-goal game.

“They keep it defensive and keep the score low,” he said. “They try to get out on those counters, and they did that. We expected it to be a tight game. Any time you play a team for the second time, there aren’t any surprises.”

The Trojans, members of the Fox River Classic Conference with the Red Raiders, won an April 26 game against their rivals, 2-0.

The shootout pitted Southwest goalie Mallory Kerhin against Pulaski’s Ella Sasse.

The shootout rounds mirrored one another until the seventh round.

In round one, both players shot over the net.

The second and third rounds saw players from both sides make their kicks.

The fourth round saw Sasse and Kerhin each make saves before the fifth round saw successful kicks.

After a short break, players from both sides put their sixth-round kicks off the post.

Finally, in the seventh round, the Trojans made their kick before Pulaski’s final attempt went off the top post and caromed away.

“Mallory can sometimes overthink things, but most of the time, she lets it go,” Draves said. “It was her first year in net for us.”

Kerhin kicked first in the shootout.

“We practice PKs (penalty shots) every day in practice,” Kerhin said. “The coaches asked if I’d feel comfortable taking a shot and going first – but then I missed.”

Kerhin said she told the team to play the whole 20 minutes of overtime as hard as they could.

“We were tired,” she said. “We played to the final whistle.”

Kerhin said she has a routine during a shootout.

“Sometimes I’ll look at the (opposing) player and see where they’re looking or which way her hips are turned. Usually, I pick my best side and hope for the best.”

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