DePere defeated Verona 1-0 on Saturday, Sept. 28, in the DePere Invitational, handing the Wildcats their first loss of the season.

Verona (10-1-2, 5-0 Big Eight Conference) beat Green Bay Preble 3-0 the previous day in the invite.

The Wildcats shut out Sun Prairie 2-0 on Thursday, Sept. 26.

De Pere 1, Verona 0

The Wildcats outshot the Redbirds 18-2 (9-2 on goal) and had 12 corner kicks, but couldn’t find the back of the net.

De Pere’s Sam Dorchester converted a penalty kick in the 23rd minute. Verona goalkeepers Owen Gibson and Nate Hanson made one save apiece.

Verona 3, Green Bay Preble 0

The Wildcats outshot Preble 28-2, and Gibson stopped the Hornets’ one shot on goal.

Verona put 16 shots on goal. Jack Knight scored unassisted in the 33rd minute. Eliot Popkewitz found the back of the net in the 58th minute, assisted by Tavion McNuckle. Jorge Lagunes added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute.

Verona 2, Sun Prairie 0

The Cardinals sat back on defense for most of the game, but the Wildcats broke through late in the second half to earn a Big Eight road win over the team that knocked them out of last year’s postseason.

Gannon Simonett, who scored the game winner in Verona’s 3-2 victory over Middleton two days previous, corralled a pass from Knight and sent a right-footed blast into the lower left corner of the net in the 79th minute.

“We’ve been working in practice on getting the ball to the corner and getting that slot ball,” Simonett said. “Jack was able to penetrate, found me in the slot, and I was able to finish well.”

Two minutes later, Simonett snuck a pass between three Sun Prairie defenders to Knight, who beat goalkeeper Tanner Scherer in a one-on-one situation for the insurance goal.

“We had all the momentum to break through,” Verona coach Chris Handrick said. “We just needed to have the mental toughness to outlast them.”

The Wildcats outshot the Cardinals 13-3 (8-2 on goal). Gibson made both saves.

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