Verona Boys Soccer - Sectional Champs

Verona senior Eliot Popkewitz (6) holds up the Division 1 Sun Prairie Sectional championship plaque as he celebrates with teammates Owen Gibson (1), Jacob Wing (20), Jorge Lagunes (17) and Alan De Los Santos after the Wildcats’ 1-0 win over Madison West on Saturday, Nov. 2.

The Verona Area High School boys soccer team punched its ticket to the Division 1 state tournament with a 1-0 win over Madison West in the Sun Prairie Sectional championship game at Madison College’s Goodman Pitch on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Verona senior Eliot Popkewitz scored in the 88th minute to lift the Wildcats to their first state appearance in program history. It marked the second time this season the Big Eight Conference champion Wildcats have beat the Regents.

Verona (19-1-2) earned the top seed at the state tournament and will play fourth-seeded Kenosha Tremper in the semifinals at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee. Second-seeded Eau Claire Memorial will take on third-seeded Neenah in the other state semifinal.

“These senior boys have the heart and the spirit,” Verona coach Chris Handrick said. “They deserve it. I would expect our boys to want to continue to take care of every step along the way. They want that state championship for Verona.”