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Southwest stays strong in battle with Ashwaubenon

By Tori Wittenbrock
Associate Sports Editor

Autumn Nolle reaches out to attempt to stop a run down the field by Jordan Domnick. Tori Wittenbrock photos

GREEN BAY – On Tuesday, April 30, the Green Bay Southwest Trojans (2-3-3 overall, 1-2 conf.) girls soccer team took charge in the second half of their game against the Ashwaubenon Jaguars (7-4-0 overall, 0-3 conf.) to take the lead and finish 2-0. 

“Last year we lost to these guys 1-0 in a tough game, so we wanted to bounce back and lean into that as we head into some even tougher games this weekend,” said Green Bay Southwest Head Coach Jay Draves. 

The Trojans started out the battle strong, getting off three shots in the first two minutes of the game. 

However, Ashwaubenon quickly retaliated, showing their strength by sending Payton Bodart-Frelich on a run down the sidelines to build in the attack and get a shot off in the fourth minute. 

From this point forward, the majority of the first half was a battle of possession between the midfielders. 

After several attempts to send Bodart-Frelich to the cornerflag, she was able to find herself free and get a cross off, but few runners in the box allowed Southwest to clear the ball out. 

In the 16th minute, the Trojan defense stayed strong when faced with an outside shot from Jordan Domnick that sailed just over the net. 

One minute later, Ashwaubenon found themselves on their heels with a strong attack from Southwest. Domnick dropped back on defense to defend Southwest’s corner kick and sent the ball up the field and out of the danger zone.

In the 19th minute, Southwest’s Autumn Nolle ripped a shot off of the crossbar from the top of the box in the 19th minute to keep the Jaguars on their toes. 

Autumn Noel, center back for the Trojans, stepped up to fire off a shot that was blocked by Ashwaubenon’s keeper, Mercedes Matke. 

Bodart-Frelich and Jayla Brunhoefer created trouble for the Trojans’ back line by forcing a  turnover and having a run at goal but Trojan midfielder, Nolle, had a strong counterattack up the field. 

Southwest gained another opportunity when Nolle was fouled just wide of the box in the 36th minute, but Alexandra Siudzinski’s free kick was scooped up by Matke. 

The score remained 0-0 going into the second half. 

“I am most proud of their hustle and grit — they fought through the whole entire game,” said Ashwaubenon Head Coach Emily Bangen.

The Trojans again came out strong in the second half, earning two corner kicks in the first four minutes of play. 

On the second corner, Siudzinski followed up her kick in the box to slot it in the near post past Matke to give her team a 1-0 lead in the 45th minute. 

In the 48th minute, Nolle was able to get her head on another corner kick, but not enough to redirect it on goal. 

Emily Buzaitis came up big for her team on defense with a stop in the box in the 55th minute. 

Ashwaubenon continued to build up from the back, allowing Lainey Prunty to get a shot off to test the Southwest’s goalkeeper, Gail Wery. 

Moments later, Nolle forced a turnover in the midfield and, despite drawing four defenders in the box, managed to slot the ball in for a goal to go up 2-0 in the 57th minute. 

“We kind of challenged them at halftime to really focus on that and make that connection with all of the midfielders and really thought it paid off with those goals in the second half,” said Draves. 

Kathryn Remiker and Addyson Coady won battles in midfield for the Jaguars to create a spark in the 65th minute. 

A diving save by Matke in the 70th minute kept the Jaguars safe from trouble in the box. 

In the closing minutes of the game, Engels received a cross in the box and volleyed it just outside the net to keep the final score at 2-0. 

“I think we still have to work on our finishing. We had some more chances out there on the field and we just have to turn them into goals,” said Draves. 

Bangen said her team is looking to improve their confidence going into the rest of the season.

“I think we just need to keep being aggressive the whole game and believe in ourselves. A lot of times we get down, and we just need to keep that confidence up and we can achieve anything,” said Bangen. 

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