Cheers rang out from the Stoughton bench following the team’s match against Oregon on Tuesday night.
No, the Vikings did not upset the Panthers, but they did prove they could compete with Division 2’s No. 2 team in the second half.
After getting outscored 4-0 in the first half, the Stoughton boys soccer team was edged out 2-1 after the break to earn a 6-1 loss to the Panthers Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Stoughton High School.
“I thought the second half looked really good for us,” Stoughton head coach Justin Packard said. “That’s why I don’t mind playing teams like this because we get better from it. They always give us something to work on.”
Oregon junior Noah Malcook got the scoring started with a goal in the ninth minute to put the Panthers (5-0) up 1-0. Just two minutes later in the 11th, junior Mason Diercks made it 2-0 with a score. Malcook drew a penalty in the box in the 26th minute and cashed in on the ensuing PK to extend the Oregon lead to 3-0.
“He’s maybe the fastest player I’ve seen,” Stoughton goalie Ethan Peterson said. “As soon as he gets the ball he turns one way or the other the quickest I’ve seen and he can finish from anywhere. He was really hard to match up and guard the whole game.”
Senior Alex Rodriguez lined a long shot into the back of the net in the 35th to give the Panthers their 4-0 halftime advantage.
Junior Carter Uhlmann and senior AJ Couillard scored second-half goals to make it 6-0.
Stoughton (0-3-1) broke the seal with two minutes left in regulation when Ramsey Winton found Marco Cortes-Lema for a goal.
Peterson finished with 10 saves for Stoughton.
“We kept our heads up the whole time,” Peterson said. “As soon as they scored we didn’t let it bring us down. We kept going to the very end, obviously you can see that when we scored that last minute goal.”
The win was the Panthers’ 13th straight against Stoughton dating back to 2010.
“We’re gaining experience like we have in every other game,” Packard said. “That’s one of the best teams in the state with really good players and coaches.”
Monona Grove 4, Stoughton 1
Winton scored Stoughton’s lone goal as the Vikings fell to Monona Grove in a Badger Southeast Division game on Thursday, Sept. 9, on the road.
Stoughton was playing with a new backline due to injuries, according to Packard.
“We didn't have our best match against MG,” he said. “Our team struggled to break the defensive pressure brought by MG, and failed to protect the center of the pitch.”
Evansville 3, Stoughton 1
A second-half strike from Tristan Delgado from distance would be all the scoring the Vikings would get in a nonconference loss to the Blue Devils on Saturday, Sept. 11, at Evansville High School.
“Ultimately, the guys ran out of gas, having played three matches in five days,” Packard said. “But the first part of the second half was the best soccer we have played this season.”