Girls soccer: Monroe ousts Evansville
EVANSVILLE—The road is suiting the Monroe girls soccer team just fine this postseason.
The fifth-seeded Cheesemakers spent much of the latter part of the week away from home, and it paid off with a regional championship Saturday.
Sophomore forward Maddie Kallgren scored once in each half, and Monroe held on to beat top-seeded Evansville in a WIAA Division 2 regional final at Evansville High.
“I think the key has been that everyone has stayed healthy and has really been enjoying the season,” Monroe coach Miriam O’Neill said. “They are extremely determined … to show that they can be competitive with anybody.”
It was just the fifth loss of the season for Evansville, which won 14 matches and tied three times.
Monroe will face Delavan-Darien, a 3-2 shootout winner over Big Foot/Williams Bay in its regional final Saturday, in a sectional semifinal Thursday.
“Monroe’s a good team, and they came out hard,” Evansville coach Kendall Buttchen said. “They took the attack to us right from the get out.”
The more-veteran team certainly showed it early on. Monroe, with seven seniors on the roster, controlled play for much of the first half and just missed out on a pair of chances in the opening 20 minutes.
Monroe finally broke through at the 20:23 mark. Senior forward Gabby Ludwig fed a cross into the box, and Kallgren put the Cheesemakers on the board.
“We’ve finally got it all together,” O’Neill said. “They’re just all coming together at the right time.”
The Blue Devils, who have just one senior on the roster, regrouped for a much better second half, but they struggled to put together quality chances until late in the match.
Monroe doubled its lead in the 66th minute when Kallgren scored again.
The 2-0 deficit sent Evansville into attack mode, and the Blue Devils finally broke through with less than six minutes remaining. They played the ball cleanly through the midfield on strong passes from junior freshmen Abby Meehan and Anna Eager, who found junior Megan Stencel streaking toward the net.
Stencel’s goal drew Evansville within one, and it had two more decent chances in the late stages, but Monroe held on.
“I’m proud of the season that we had,” Buttchen said. “We had a group of girls that bonded together. They were a team on and off the field. I think that’s what led to our success.”
MONROE 2, EVANSVILLE 1
Monroe 1 1—2
Evansville 0 1—1
M—Maddie Kallgren (Gabby Ludwig), 20:23.
E—Megan Stencel (Anna Eager), 74:34.
Saves—Shyanna Kelley (M) 11, Hannah Anderson (E) 6.