Penalties don't break Comets' way in state final loss

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John Barry
Sunday, November 5, 2017

MILWAUKEE--The third time was a charm for Mount Horeb’s boys soccer team.

After losing twice in the last three years to Delavan-Darien in the WIAA Division 3 State title game, the Vikings weren’t to be denied Saturday night.

Mount Horeb scored twice off penalty kicks and held off the highest-scoring team in state history down the stretch in a 2-1 win at Uihlein Soccer Park.

Top-ranked Delavan-Darien (25-2-3) was looking for its second straight state title and fourth overall but came up short in losing only its second game all season. Mount Horeb (19-3-2) won its third state title.

In a game that was physical from start to finish, Delavan-Darien coach Mike Marse said his team had trouble adjusting.

“When we play physical, we seem to get PK’s called against us,” Marse said. “And they (Mount Horeb) were targeting Jason (Cano) and he’s got to learn to adjust to that, which I think he will next year as a senior.

“We’ve been able to overcome when we have fell behind all year and when team’s get defensive on us, but tonight that second penalty kick killed us.”

Mount Horeb got the game-winner with just over 10 minutes left when Jacob Culberson converted a penalty kick following the Comets’ second foul inside the box.

Trailing 2-1, Delavan-Darien tried to get the equalizer but the Vikings stout defense stood tall. Mount Horeb controlled play in their end the final five minutes to earn another gold ball.

The two teams were no stranger to state or each other. Delavan-Darien had defeated Mount Horeb in the state title game in two of the last three years. The Comets won 2-1 in 2016 and 3-1 in 2014. The Vikings won the D3 state title in 2015 and were playing at state for the seventh time in the last eight years.

Delavan-Darien tied the game at 68:29 when Osvaldo Torres ripped a shot from 30 yards out that was deflected past Mount Horeb goalie Ben Leis.

Mount Horeb scored first thanks to Jaden Neumann’s penalty kick at 22:43. Neumann’s fifth goal of the state tournament set the Division 3 all-time mark. The penalty kick was set up when the Comets’ Martin Soto was whistled for a foul after taking down Connor Long inside the box.

Delavan-Darien controlled play the first 45 minutes but had nothing to show for it. The Comets out-shot the Vikings 9-5 and had four corner kicks to Mount Horeb’s two.

Delavan-Darien’s best scoring chance in the first half came when Zeus Huerta hit the crossbar on a well-struck free kick at 13:59.

Marse could find little fault with his team despite the loss.

“There were times this year with the injuries we had that we weren’t sure how far we’d go,” Marse said. “We overcame a lot of things to get here."


Mount Horeb 1 1—2

Delavan-Darien 0 1—1

First Half

MH—Jaden Neumann (penalty kick), 22:43.

Second Half

DD—Osvaldo Torres, 68:29. MH—Jacob Culberson (penalty kick), 78:40.

Saves—Ben Leis (MH) 3, Hugo Valadez 2 (DD). Shots—DD 14, MH 8. Shots on goal—DD 4, MH 4. Corner kicks—DD 8, MH 3. Offsides—DD 1, MH 0. Fouls—MH 13, DD 9.

Last updated: 12:12 am Sunday, November 5, 2017

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