Categorized | Boys Soccer, Marshfield

Chemistry, confidence propels Marshfield boys soccer team to first state tournament

Posted on 31 October 2013 by paul

Marshfield's Alex Sainterme pushes the ball downfield during the Tigers' regional final win over Shawano on Oct. 17. Marshfield will take on Oregon in a WIAA Division 2 state semifinal on Friday in Milwaukee. (Photo by Paul Lecker/MarshfieldAreaSports.com)

Marshfield’s Alex Sainterme pushes the ball downfield during the Tigers’ regional final win over Shawano on Oct. 17. Marshfield will take on Oregon in a WIAA Division 2 state semifinal on Friday in Milwaukee. (Photo by Paul Lecker/MarshfieldAreaSports.com)

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This story is sponsored by: The University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County

By Paul Lecker
MarshfieldAreaSports.com

MARSHFIELD – Chemistry and confidence can go a long way toward winning.

The Marshfield boys soccer team has proved that point this season, posting a school-record 19-4-3 record and the first state tournament appearance in the program’s history.

The Tigers will take on Oregon (15-3-2) in a Division 2 semifinal at 2 p.m. Friday at the 2013 WIAA State Boys Soccer Tournament at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.

Matt DeGrand, one of eight seniors on the roster, said he has seen a chance with this year’s team.

“Our chemistry is a lot of better,” said DeGrand, a defender. “We’ve all played together for quite a few years and we’re all pretty good friends. We have a lot of talent on this team too, which has helped us win.”

Marshfield won just 21 games and posted no playoff wins in the past three seasons. This year, the Tigers got off to a 10-2-2 start and a 5-1 mark in the Wisconsin Valley Conference, propelling a confidence that swept over the team early on.

“Everyone’s more connected,” senior defender Ryne Felhofer said. “Everyone is friends, everyone can hold a conversation. Everyone trusts each other.”

In Oregon, Marshfield may be seeing a mirror image of itself. Tigers coach Ron Todryk said Oregon has two strong midfielders, much like Marshfield’s Austin Gilbert and Matt McCann, who can control the tempo of the game.

“We concentrating on the playing the way we do,” Todryk said. “They are a bigger team, hopefully we’re maybe a little faster and a little quicker and we can use that to our advantage. With Austin and Matt in the middle, they can usually read an opponent and can usually make adjustments out on the field with their teammates.”

Defensively, Marshfield has allowed just 25 goals this season and only six times have they given up more than one goal in a game.

Senior goalkeeper Matt Brown has led a strong postseason push where the Tigers have given up just three goals, and his two big stops in a shootout win over Pulaski on Oct. 24 proved to be the difference in the sectional semifinal.

However, most of the time, Brown doesn’t even see many shots as the team’s defenders are able to keep the ball away from the goal.

“In the middle of the season, for about eight games, I lost all four of my starting four defenders,” Todryk said. “We had players like Austin Christianson, Matt DeGrand and Brad Cherney step up and play some defense. I had to take Jake Limmex and Ryan Hayes and put them in the back at times. It’s a good, solid core. Our first-liners are back, but if anything happens to them, those guys can step.”

Seniors Andres Aguirre, DeGrand, Felhofer and Austin Copp, as well as juniors Alex Babinski,Christianson, Cherney and Chris Pahl have all seen their minutes fluctuate over the course of the season, but each has come in and played well when needed, Todryk said.

DeGrand said maximum effort should bring the Tigers through with a victory and give them a shot at the state title on Saturday.

“We have to finish all of our opportunities,” DeGrand said. “We have to leave it all on the field to win. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s great to be a part of it and everything we have accomplished.”

2013 WIAA State Boys Soccer Tournament
Oct. 31-Nov. 2, at Uihlein Soccer Park, Milwaukee
Division 2
Semifinals, Nov. 1

Cedarburg (14-4-2) vs. Whitefish Bay (17-5), noon
Marshfield (19-4-3) vs. Oregon (15-3-2), 2 p.m.
Championship, Nov. 2
Winners, 3 p.m.
All state tournament games will be streamed live at foxsportswisconsin.com. The Division 2 championship game will be televised delayed at 5 p.m. Saturday on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

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