It wasn’t a lack of effort, but Milton head coach Ryan Wagner just wanted to see a bit more urgency from his team Tuesday.
The ninth-seeded Red Hawks lost to eighth-seeded Stoughton, 2-1, in a WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal match at McFarland High School.
“It hurts to say it, but I think we lacked intensity for it being a playoff game,” Wagner said.
The Red Hawks got on the board first with a goal in the sixth minute from Luke Grote. Grote attempted to cross the ball from outside the box, but the wind helped drift it toward the goal where it found the back of the net.
“After that they were pretty pumped up,” Wagner said. “I thought that would definitely be the catalyst to getting us going.”
Senior keeper Maverick Attwood held the 1-0 advantage for Milton with a diving save off a Stoughton free kick in the 12th minute.
The Vikings’ Derek Karlen weaved through the Red Hawks defense and was able to roll a shot past Attwood on the ground.
It was a similar score in the 56th minute that broke the tie.
Milton had three free kick attempts in the second half, none more dangerous than senior Declan Riley’s in the 69th minute.
From 18 yards out, Riley’s shot rolled past the Stoughton wall with pace on the ground, but the Stoughton goalie made a diving save to the right side of the goal to preserve the lead.
“That was a heck of a save off Declan’s there,” Wagner said.
Stoughton advanced to play top-seeded Elkhorn on Saturday.
STOUGHTON 2, MILTON 1Milton 1 0—1
Stoughton 1 1—2
First halfM—Grote 6. S—Karlen 35.
Second halfS—Misini 56.