The Lakeland boys’ soccer team picked up where they left off with a second consecutive win.
The Thunderbirds defeated non-conference Ashland 6-2 on Monday night at Incredible Bank Field.
“It was a great win, especially with us going into our final conference game against Antigo,” coach Ihor Myshchyshyn said.
A total of five goals were scored in the first half, three by the Thunderbirds.
The scoring started with a goal by Kyle Peterson on a pass from Jason Hilgart in the fifth minute for a 1-0 lead.
In the 13th minute, Matthew Cliver scored on a cross shot from a Kyle Peterson pass. The Thunderbirds did not let up.
One minute later, Kyle Peterson scored his second goal on another cross shot. He had two goals and an assist already in the game. Lakeland led 3-0.
“Having a speed like (Peterson’s) is a real treat and we spent a good part of our season trying to figure out how to get the ball at the right spot where he can beat the defender and give us some results or set some plays,” Myshchyshyn said.
The Oredockers did get on the board in the 26th minute on a break away goal by Jaylen King.
The fifth goal of the first half came from the Oredockers. Just before half, in the 41st minute, Owen Czapiga scored on a head shot off a corner kick from Reece Larson.
The Thunderbirds held a slim 3-2 lead at halftime.
It did not take long before the Thunderbirds had their first good look at a goal in the second half. Kyle Peterson crossed the ball to Hilgart in the box, but it was just out of reach and went out of bounds in the 46th minute.
“(Hilgart’s) getting much, much better lately at distributing that ball after he gets to break away from the pressure,” Myshchyshyn said. “If there’s a ball being crossed from outside the left wing he’s typically playing on our right wing on the field, so he’s getting very much better of anticipating that ball being put on the far post where he comes out trying to finish it up.”
Judson Bybee followed that up with a shot of his own, saved by Ashland’s goalie.
The Oredockers did not score the second half, but had one of their best looks in the 56th minute. Reece Larson took a shot that went to the left of the goal.
Three minutes later, Kyle Peterson took a through ball pass from Kyle Bengtson, broke free, went one-on-one with the Ashland goalie and scored on a low ball to the left corner of the net. It was Peterson’s third goal of the game and the Thunderbirds led 4-2.
Chandler Savel took a shot on goal in the 60th minute. The Ashland defense deflected it out to preserve the score at 4-2.
In the same minute, Collin Quade scored off a corner kick by Bengtson. The Thunderbirds stretched their lead to 5-2.
The Thunderbirds continued their barrage of shots in the 63rd minute. Both Hilgart and Quade had shots that went over the goal.
Another sequence of good soccer by Lakeland broke out in the 67th minute. Kyle Peterson passed it too long to Hilgart. The ball ended up at the feet of Cliver who took a line drive shot towards the goal that just missed.
“Before the game I told them to enjoy it, have fun — basically the main thing why we are playing this sport,” Myshchyshyn said. “Yes there’s a lot of hard work, but at some point you have to look back and say ‘hey, are we having fun putting all that effort.’ At the end it turned out as good as we could have hoped for.”
One minute later, Josh Sennett took a free kick a little past the 50-yard line in Oredocker territory. Sennett nearly scored with a near perfect kick. He shot it top left corner, but Ashland’s goalie made a miraculous save, just getting a piece of it to prevent the score.
At the 75-minute mark, the Thunderbirds started to play some possession. The Oredockers did get a couple more chances at goal, highlighted by a shot on goal from Reece Larson. Reece Larson took a line drive shot that was knocked down by Vincent Strong before saving it.
A crazy sequence broke out in the 82nd minute. With Ashland threatening to score, Strong came out from goal to make a save. He was unable to make the save and the goal became wide open. With Strong hustling back, the Oredockers were unable to find the back of the net.
Then in the 84th minute, the Thunderbirds put the exclamation point on the night with a goal from Teag Wagner. He scored off a cross on the ground through the middle of the field from Max Toijala.
In total, the Thunderbirds outshot the Oredockers 32 to 13.
“I think if we continue on we’re going to make some ripples in (the) postseason starting with Rhinelander on the 22nd,” Myshchyshyn said. “We couldn’t ask for a better peaking time. Again, the boys seem to be enjoying it, I love it, its a great time to be right now (the) Lakeland boys’ soccer team.”
Their next game is Thursday at home against Antigo. Coverage of that will be in the Oct. 22 edition of The Times
Up next, the Thunderbirds participate in regionals with a matchup at Rhinelander on Tuesday, Oct. 22 starting at 7 p.m.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]