The last time the Lakeland boys’ soccer team met up with Rhinelander, it ended up being an exciting Hodag victory. The Thunderbirds had a chance to respond, this time in Minocqua.
The Thunderbirds and Hodags played to a 1-1 tie on Thursday, Oct. 3.
Once the Thunderbirds tied it in the 62nd minute, it became a story of missed chances from Lakeland.
“(We) struggled to get the ball in space, for our fast guys to get under and attack the net,” coach Ihor Myshchyshyn said. “That’s where we were beating ourselves. (It was a) little bit lack of quality of the ball.”
The Thunderbirds had a few chances at more goals, none better than a pass from Kyle Bengtson to Matthew Cliver, who took a beautiful shot inside the box.
Another chance came from Teag Wagner. He had a nice left foot shot that went just wide of the post.
“Rhinelander has a very good goalie that saved them many, many times in the second half,” Myshchyshyn. “A few breakaways that we almost capitalized on.”
Rhinelander goalie Gavin Osterman finished with eight total saves on the night.
Back of the net
The Hodags got their first and only goal at the 40th minute of the first half. Beau Howard scored the goal on a rebound off a Joseph?Heck shot for a 1-0 lead.
Vincent Strong returned to the goalie position and finished with four saves.
The Thunderbirds took advantage of one of their multiple chances in the second half to score a breakaway goal from Brandon Boh at the 62nd mark. Chandler Savel recorded the assist on the play on a pass chipped over deep.
“Brandon came one-on-one and we had an advantage in speed,” Myshchyshyn said.
The first half played more even, but the second half saw much better play from the Thunderbirds, giving them multiple scoring chances.
“I would say the first half was very balanced,” Myshchyshyn said. “The second half I think we had an advantage, pressing very hard. The second half I felt like we had it.”
The game put the Thunderbirds at 4-5-4 overall, 2-3-2 in conference. They currently sit fourth in conference with under two weeks left in the regular season.
The Thunderbirds next played Monday, Oct. 7 at home against non-conference opponent Washburn.
Then, the Thunderbirds host conference opponent Northland Pines tonight starting at 7 p.m. Coverage of both of those games will be in the Oct. 11 edition of The Times
After that, the Thunderbirds go on the road for a match at Mosinee on Thursday, Oct. 10 starting at 4 p.m.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]