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.
Ranked second in the D2 Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association poll and the defending state runners-up last year, the second-seeded Panthers will play third-seeded Brookfield East in a state semifinal on Thursday, June 13, 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.”
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.
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.