Trucker soccer wins in shootout
Clintonville advances to regional title
By Erik Buchinger
After 110 minutes of no scoring, the fourth-seed Clintonville boys’ soccer team defeated No. 5 seed Mosinee in a 3-1 shootout in a WIAA Division 3 regional semifinal game on Thursday, Oct. 19.
Clintonville senior goalkeeper Seth Betz said he could not explain how he felt following the victory.
“I’m speechless right now,” Betz said. “To win a shootout as a goalie is unbelievable. I have now words. I’m just full of adrenaline and happiness. I can’t explain it. It’s an amazing feeling, especially beating Mosinee.”
A year earlier, Clintonville was on the other side with a shootout loss to Mosinee in last season’s regional championship game.
“They’ve become a rivalry over the past couple years ever since my freshman year,” Clintonville junior midfielder Matthew Morse said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game.”
After 90 minutes of scoreless action, the two teams went through two 10-minute overtime sessions with no score, setting up a penalty kick shootout to decide who advanced.
“It was very close and physical, and when it got down to overtime, we knew exactly what was coming,” Morse said. “We stayed on our side of the half for overtime, and knew we wanted to go to [penalty kicks]. We got to PKs, and we finished it.”
Betz allowed just one goal in the shootout and described what he looks for when trying to defend a penalty kick.
“The first thing I do is look at their eyes and see if they’re trying to fake me out at all,” Betz said. “At the last second, I look at their hips, and it’s about a half-second window where you’ve got to make a decision.”
After another save from Betz, Morse sealed the victory for the Truckers with a goal for the win.
“As soon as our goalie stopped it, I knew that if I made it, we’d win,” Morse said. “I went up there nervous because I kept thinking about last year, but as soon as I got the ball, i stared the goalie in the eyes and saw him cheat to one side, so i went on the opposite. I knew he was going to jump high, so I kept it low.”
Morse missed one of the penalty kicks in last year’s loss, and he said it feels good to be on the winning side.
“It feels nice,” Morse said. “I feel like crying right now. I’m just so happy. I heard the fans, and they were like, ‘You airmailed this one last year,’ and I just knew I had to go up there and own the play, so that’s exactly what I did.”
The Truckers will move on to play top-seeded Rhinelander on the road on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 3:30 p.m.