Heartbreaking Loss For Yellowjackets
Oshkosh 1, Yellowjackets 0
The Yellowjacket men's soccer team, on a steady trajectory since Joe Mooney took over as head coach, found themselves in position to make a post-season run in 2011. Without a conference tournament, the Yellowjackets and the rest of the schools in the WIAC need to rely on at-large bids to gain entry into the NCAA tournament. After a blowout win on Tuesday at Bethany Lutheran, the Yellowjackets turned their collective sight on UW-Oshkosh, knowing that a win on the road against a 2010 NCAA tournament team would go a long way in securing an invitation into the playoff derby.
Unfortunately, the Titans didn't know that was part of the plan, as they escaped the afternoon with a 1-0 victory, effectively dashing the NCAA dreams of the Yellowjackets.
A tight match throughout, the Yellowjackets outshot the Titans 6-3 in the first half. In the second half, Oshkosh turned up the heat, owning a 12-2 edge in shots. Despite the discrepancy, the game remained scoreless well into the second half. The Titans broke the stalemate, taking the 1-0 lead with just 5:23 to play when Tim Stadler scored his second goal of the season, hitting the left side of the net from the right wing about 20 yards out. That would be all the offense in the match, and the Titans rode the late goal to victory.
Oshkosh owned a 15-8 edge in shots attempted, but shots on goal, however, were only 6-4 in the Titans' favor. Matt Elder (New Hope, Minn.) made four saves for the Yellowjackets, while James Pike had four saves for Oshkosh. The Titans were also credited with one team save.
Three seniors - Dan Warnke (Burnsville, Minn.), Logan George (Ramsey, Minn.) and Thomas Shuldheisz (Andover, Minn.) had two shots on goal apiece for the Yellowjackets.
The Yellowjackets (11-6-2, 3-4 WIAC) still have a chance to reach the NCAA tournament, but they are going to need a little help. They will close the regular season with a conference match at Finlandia University on Tuesday, November 2 at 2:00 p.m.