Mount Horeb denies Evansville 2-0 in sectional final
MADISON--The resume for Mount Horeb’s boys soccer program is impressive.
In the last six years, the Vikings have won two Division 3 WIAA state titles and finished runner-up three times.
At Saturday’s Div. 3 sectional final against Evansville, Mount Horeb padded that resume.
Jaden Neumann had a goal and an assist to lead Mount Horeb to a 2-0 win over the Blue Devils.
Mount Horeb (18-4-1) won its 14th straight game and earned its sixth state berth in the last seven years.
Evansville (16-3-3) was denied the program’s first state appearance but still put together an impressive season under coach Kendall Buttchen.
Buttchen said the early two-goal deficit proved to be the difference.
“We knew the first 20 minutes were going to be difficult,” Buttchen said. “Mount Horeb seems to always come out strong and are a first-half team.
“We knew that if we weathered the storm early on, we would have a good shot at it. If we could’ve kept it at a one-goal game going into halftime, I thought we would’ve been within striking distance.”
The Vikings struck quickly. Tommy Winkler stuffed in a shot on a perfect pass from Jaden Neumann to make it 1-0 at 11:21. Neumann made it 2-0 less than two minutes later when he got behind two Evansville defenders and slipped a shot past keeper Alexander Wille.
Evansville generated little offensively the first half. Mount Horeb goalkeeper Ben Leis was forced to make only one save the first 45 minutes and finished with five for the game. Wille made three point-blank stops and played well in the loss. The senior tallied eight saves for the game, just two days after making nine saves in the Devils emotional 1-0 win over McFarland in a sectional semifinal.
The second half saw the Vikings control the pace. Wille made an acrobatic save off a shot by Roger Schultz at 69:45 that kept it 2-0. The Blue Devils best chance came when senior Peyton Townsend got behind the Vikings’ defense, but Leis got to the ball before Townsend could corral it.
Despite the loss, Buttchen was quick to praise what he called ‘a special group of guys.’
“We accomplished a lot this season, and I’m really proud of the guys,” Buttchen said. “We overcame a lot of adversity and did a lot of things that I don’t think people around the soccer community in Southern Wisconsin thought that we would do.
“It’s a testament to how well these guys stuck together and bonded with each other. That’s what got us here.”
Evansville's last three trips to sectionals have ended against Mount Horeb. The Vikings nipped the Devils 7-6 in penalty kicks in a sectional semifinal in 2014, and won 1-0 in a sectional final in 2012.
MOUNT HOREB 2, EVANSVILLE 0
Evansville 0 0–0
Mount Horeb 2 0–2
MH—Tommy Winkler (Jaden Neumann, Jacob Culberson) 11:21. MH—Neumann (Kyler Donavan) 13:04.
Saves—Alexander Wille (E) 8, Ben Leis (MH) 5.