By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD – Noah Heegeman scored two goals, including the game-winner in the 69th minute, to lift the Marshfield boys soccer team to the WIAA Division 2 regional title in a 3-2 victory over Rhinelander at Saturday at Griese Park.
Heegeman scored off a crossing pass from Luke McCann that he it off his chest into the goal at the 68:16 mark to break a 2-2 tie. The Tigers’ defense did the rest, holding the Hodags scoreless for the remaining 21 minutes.
Marshfield (11-6-3) will play Pulaski (12-6-3) in a Division 1 sectional semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Griese Park. The winner will play either Onalaska (17-2-2) or River Falls (10-7-2) in a sectional final on Saturday, Oct. 31, at Wausau East at 1 p.m. for a berth in the 2015 WIAA State Boys Soccer Tournament in Milwaukee.
“It was a big win for the team,” Marshfield coach Steve McCann said. “Noah Heegman had an outstanding game. The team is thrilled to be practicing yet this week and is looking forward to playing again Thursday.”
Heegeman scored 19:49 into the game as Marshfield dominated most of the first half. However, a penalty in the goalie box resulted in a penalty kick by Gunnar Millot that he nailed in the bottom left of net to tie the game at 1-1 with just 38 seconds to go before halftime.
Hunter McManus scored on an assist from Kaylob Croston 10:11 into the second half to give the Tigers the lead again.
But, again, the Hodags responded. Millot scored on a free kick to tie the game again, before Heegeman’s second goal just 1:46 later gave the the Tigers the lead for good.
“We knew going in that Rhinelander was tough on set pieces, even from their recent win over Menasha scoring both goals off direct kick opportunities, and they proved that again this afternoon,” Steve McCann said.
Mathias Holm had seven saves in goal for Marshfield, which outshot the Hodags on goal 12-9.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Tigers 3, Hodags 2
Rhinelander 1 1 – 2
Marshfield 1 2 – 3
First half: 1. M, Noah Heegeman (Hunter McManus), 19:49; 2. R, Gunnar Millott (penalty kick), 44:22.
Second half: 3. M, McManus (Kaylob Croston), 55:11; 4. R, Millott (free kick), 66:30; 5. M, Heegeman (Luke McCann), 68:16.
Total shots: Rhinelander 10; Marshfield 15.
Shots on goal: Rhinelander 9; Marshfield 12.
Corner kicks: Rhinelander 1; Marshfield 6.
Records: Rhinelander 12-3-1; Marshfield 11-6-3.