Milton opens boys soccer tournament with a victory
MILTON--Ryan Wagner knows his Milton High boys soccer team will have to play a better than it did Tuesday if it is going to advance in the WIAA Division 2 tournament.
The Red Hawks dominated play against Waterford but needed two fluke goals to secure a 2-0 win.
Milton (12-5-3) plays at Fort Atkinson on Thursday in a regional final game, and Wagner hopes a more consistent Milton team shows up than the one on the field against Waterford.
“I would say we played a mediocre game today,” Wagner said. “And that’s the kind of team we’ve been all season. We’ve had some good games, some bad games and some mediocre games.
“We kind of played down to their level today instead of making them chase us by controlling the ball. The goals we got today were nothing to write home about, and you aren’t going to get those kind of goals against a Fort Atkinson or an Elkhorn.”
Playing with a favorable wind in the first half, Milton was in attack-mode from the opening kickoff. The Red Hawks hit the post early and peppered Waterford goalie Nicholas French before breaking through in the 25th minute.
Midfielder Kevin Schuh fired a shot past French after redirecting a throw-in from the right corner to make it 1-0.
French, a sophomore, kept the game close by making a number of sprawling saves, but the Wolverines (5-18-0) did little offensively to support him.
The Red Hawks got an insurance goal with just over a minute to play in the first half on a bizarre play. Brady Farnsworth threw the ball in from the left corner directly on goal, and as French reached up to grab the ball, it squirted through his hands and into the back of the net. That ruined an otherwise stellar performance from French.
Waterford had the wind at its back in the second half, but Milton’s quickness and superior ball-handling skills made it a moot point. Red Hawk defensemen Nolan Shea and Brett Gerharz played keep away with the Wolverine forwards, and any balls that slipped past them, goalie Nick Drew was there to corral. The senior goalie finished with four saves for Milton.
Milton now sets its sights on Fort Atkinson. The Blackhawks defeated the Red Hawks 3-1 earlier this season.
“Some things that worked today aren’t going to work on Thursday,” Wagner said. “And I think our guys figured that out.
“When we possess the ball and make five or six crisp passes to set something up, good things can happen.”
MILTON 2, WATERFORD 0
Waterford 0 0—0
Milton 2 0—2
M—Kevin Schuh, 25:00.
M—Brady Farnsworth, 39:00.
Saves—Nicholas French (W) 10, Nick Drew (M) 4.