After surviving Sauk Prairie on Saturday, June 8, junior Brooklyn Kane hugged her teammates to celebrate a return trip to state.
As a defender, it was Kane’s goal on a header off a corner kick in the 61st minute that gave the Panthers the only score they would need in a 1-0 victory in the WIAA Division 2 sectional championship game. It marks the fifth straight year Oregon qualified for state.
The win marked the 14th shutout this season for the Panthers, who are undefeated this season at 16-0-1.
Oregon, ranked second in the Division 2 Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association state poll and state runners-up last year, are second-seeded and will play third-seeded Brookfield East in a state semifinal at 7 p.m. Thursday at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.
“We really wanted it, and they (Sauk Prairie) were really tough competition,” Kane said. “We really needed a lucky one (goal). I’m just glad Emma Halverson was there to get it with me.
“I’m really happy I could do it for my team. Just knowing we did it and it was my header goal, I’m really excited about that.”
The Panthers got a shot to return to state after defeating DeForest 5-2 in a Division 2 sectional semifinal Thursday, June 6, at Huntoon Field.
Oregon 1, Sauk Prairie 0
Oregon outshot Sauk Prairie 9-1, but it was a defensive battle, as the Panthers and Eagles played to a scoreless tie in the first half.
The Panthers had three shots on goal in the first four minutes of the second half. Senior Katie Eislele had a shot sail over the top of the cross bar.
It all changed when Kane scored her third goal in two games on a header off a corner kick by Halverson in the 62nd minute. It marked Kane’s 10th goal this season.
Sauk Prairie goalkeeper Bridget Fabian made a diving save of junior forward Avary Fanning’s shot in the 59th minute.
The Panthers used a faster tempo in the second half.
“We got away from it in the first half, which is why we didn’t have as many opportunities in the first half,” coach Nelson Brownell said. “We were just trying to do what we have been doing all season. They didn’t have a whole lot of subs. With the way we play and sub we were able to take advantage of that.”
It appeared that Fanning had scored in the 76th minute to give the Panthers a two-goal lead. The goal was wiped out because of an offsides call.
Sauk Prairie had two golden opportunities in the 83rd minute, including one shot that went over the crossbar.
“I think we all wanted it so bad to go back again for the seniors and everyone,” Fanning said.
Brownell said Fabain played fantastic in goal for Sauk Prairie.
“We kept putting pressure on and taking shots,” he said. “The thing about this team is we are not going to let things get to us. We are going to continue to attack and put balls on frame.”
Oregon junior goalkeeper Melia Moyer had one save.
Brownell said the team has to keep putting shots on goal and make sure they are finishing opportunities.
“We may not get that many opportunities,” he said.
Oregon 5, DeForest 2
Kane has a knack for being in the right spot at the right time on corner kicks.
Kane used her leaping ability to score two goals on headers to lead Oregon to a 5-2 win over DeForest in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal Thursday at Huntoon Field.
“Honestly, I’m so excited for all of the seniors, especially (coach Brownell) because it’s his last year with us,” Kane said. “We really want to win it (state title) for him and the seniors”
Brownell is moving to Washington in July for a new job.
Three of the Panthers’ five goals against DeForest were scored off corner kicks.
“Sydney McKee and me work really well in the box,” Kane said. “It’s always us two trying to get our head on the ball or a volley.”
Kane credited senior Emma Halverson and junior Hanna Rohrer for serving good corner kicks.
Kane said if it wasn’t for Halverson and Rohrer, the Panthers wouldn’t score off corner kicks.
The Panthers led 1-0 at the 50-minute mark, when the teams began picking up momentum, adding five goals in around three minutes.
Senior midfielder Maddy Swartzmiller scored on a penalty kick in the 50th minute to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead. Moments later, Kane had her first goal on a header off a corner kick by Halverson to extend the Panthers’ lead to 3-0.
A minute later, the Noskies scored. Kane scored her second goal on a header to give the Panthers a 4-2 lead. DeForest’s Mandy Fitzgerald scored 30 seconds later to slice Oregon’s lead to two goals with 11 minutes left.
Junior forward Ashley Hanson added a goal on an assist by Fanning in the 81st minute.
The Panthers got on the board first with Anna Roherer scoring on a corner kick at 11:47.