Verona's penalty kick jolts Cougars
The host Wildcats jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first half, then withstood Craig High’s comeback bid and pulled away to a 6-1 victory.
“We created a lot of offense and had several balls in the box but weren’t able to get on in during the first half,’’ Craig coach Dave Adler said. “In the second half, we came out and got an early goal, and wewere right back in the game.’’
Taylor Pavlik saw to that by scoring on a free kick that made 2-1 at the 43:12 mark.
Then, the momentum changed for good.
“We were working really hard and doing some great things as a team on offense and defense until a questionable penalty kick was awarded to Verona,’’ Adler said. “The ball was knocked back toward our goalkeeper unintentionally, and Max Niedermeier was coming out to save it when the ref called one of our defenders for a push in the box.’’
That led to a penalty kick and a Verona goal by Jose Sibaja at the 47:21 mark.
“That put us down 3-1, and we never recovered,’’ Adler said.
After the second-place Wildcats make it 4-1 at the 64:37 the mark, reserves played the last 15 minutes.
Craig finished the regular season at 2-5-1 in the Big Eight and 3-13-2 overall. The Cougars begin WIAA Division 1 regional tournament next Thursday at Racine Case.
VERONA 6, CRAIG 1
Janesville Craig 0 1—1
Verona 2 4—6
V—Jake Genova (Brian Arbuckle), 3:48. V—Christian Gerhart (unassisted), 10:58.
JC—Taylor Pavlik (free kick), 43:12. V—Jose Sibaja (penalty kick), 47:21. V—Doug Thoreson (Alex Holmes), 64:37. V—Michael Prudish (unassisted), 68:51. V—Genova (Holmes), 78:34.
Saves—Max Neidermeier (JC) 3, Eric Cooney (JC) 2, Kirk Blasdel (V) 3.