With playoffs on the doorstep, Mosinee and Lakeland faced off to finish the regular season. Lakeland had already sewn up the Great Northern Conference title and had not lost a single conference game all year and only 1 loss in total. Both teams were eager to go into the playoffs with momentum and a win. Mosinee has been guided all year by the Holtz brothers, Toren and Cole, but a couple other players stepped up for the victory.
Cole Holtz got Mosinee going early with a through ball that pierced the Lakeland defense at 4”. Even with the Lakeland defense focused on stopping him, Toren Holtz took the ball right into the penalty area and fired a shot into the net, past the diving keeper.
At that point the game settled into a matchup of two closely matched teams. Lakeland’s Yaroslav Myshchyshyn is a terrific player and at one point was leading the entire state in goals scored. Matched up to him was Mosinee’s Josh Ivey. By playing Yaroslav high and tight and forcing him to use his left foot, Mosinee limited the chances.
The two times Yaroslav did get shots off, Cole Kowalski and Ethan Tazelaar were there to hold them harmless. Mosinee countered with lightning-fast counter attacks that led to shots, but no goals. 4 minutes before the half Toren Holtz put a ball through to Caden Schmirler and Caden took it from there and buried his shot with a clinical finish. Mosinee went into the half up 2-0.
2-0 is a dangerous lead because complacency is so easy to slip into for the team that is ahead. With the close matchup, that slight easing was all that Lakeland needed to pull the game back into reach. Lakeland got the ball into a mass of players in the Mosinee penalty area and Abe Evenhouse knocked a shot into the goal before Mosinee could react, 6 minutes into the half. Lakeland kept the pressure up.
While Mosinee had controlled possession most of the first half, Lakeland dominated as the second half continued. It was just a matter of time before Lakeland equalized with a goal by Bo Peterson at 58”. The game was in the balance. In a moment’s notice however, the game flipped back to Mosinee. Just one minute later Mosinee won a corner kick, and the Holtz’ Brothers struck again. Cole lofted a ball to the middle of the penalty area and Toren cleared the ball from the atmosphere. Lakeland could do nothing except watch it score. Mosinee was up 3-2 and possession switched back to Mosinee’s favor. Taking advantage of every moment and draining the clock, Mosinee took hold of the game and the victory.
Mosinee finishes the regular season at 15-4, and 8-2 record in the Great Northern Conference. Mosinee is the #3 seed in the WIAA playoffs and will play #6 seed Shawano next Thursday, October 21 in Mosinee.
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