By Paul Lecker
MILWAUKEE – The outcome obviously was not what the Marshfield girls soccer team wanted in its first trip to the state tournament, but the experience was something none of the girls will ever forget.
Marshfield managed just one shot on goal as Whitefish Bay controlled play from start to finish, beating the Tigers 5-0 in a Division 2 semifinal at the 2019 WIAA State Girls Soccer Tournament on Thursday at Uihlein Soccer Park.
Whitefish Bay (24-1) moves on to the Division 2 championship game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against Oregon (17-0-1), looking for its second state title in the past three years. Oregon defeated Brookfield East 2-0 in the other semifinal on Thursday.
Marshfield ends its season with a 14-8-2 record, which includes its first-ever state tournament berth.
“I’m happy as heck for the team,” Marshfield coach Steve Lindner said. “Even though they’re disappointed right now, it was a fantastic season. You can’t take anything away from their accomplishments. The seniors have worked hard to get us this far, and I’m proud of them and the whole team.”
Marshfield has relied on a tight defense throughout the season, especially in the playoffs, when the Tigers gave up just one goal in their four victories.
The Tigers’ defense held tough through the opening 29 minutes before Whitefish Bay broke through.
Sophia Bliffert scored at the 29:11 mark and Maggie Starker added a goal 4 minutes later to put the Blue Dukes on top 2-0.
Marshfield was on the defensive throughout as Whitefish Bay controlled the pace and had the ball in the Tigers’ end most of the game.
Kate Schilling had Marshfield’s only shot on goal midway through the first half as the Blue Dukes outshot the Tigers 27-1 overall.
“The speed and the 1-2 touches that they (Whitefish Bay) possessed (caused problems),” Lindner said. “We had to have everybody do their jobs, and we knew that going in. For the most part I think we did an admirable job and contained them pretty well, but you can’t hold these folks for 90 minutes. They are a quality team.”
Molly Keiper added a goal with 1 minute remaining in the half, then added another 14:19 into the second half.
Caroline Davis finished off the scoring with a goal with 4:10 remaining.
Marshfield’s starting goalkeeper Mikayla Brueggen had 11 saves in goal, while reserve Ava Santerme added two more in the closing minutes.
“They should be proud of their accomplishments, taking a team to the state tournament for the first time in program history, and that’s something they can take away from this and look back on for the rest of their lives,” Lindner said.
“The defense has been outstanding. They really maintained (their effort) and worked hard all game long.”
Blue Dukes 5, Tigers 0
Marshfield 0 0 – 0
Whitefish Bay 3 2 – 5
First half: 1. WB, Sophia Bliffert (Maggie Starker), 29:11; 2. WB, Starker, 33:52; 3. WB, Molly Keiper (Anna Franceschi), 44:00.
Second half: 4. WB, Keiper (Starker), 59:19; 5. WB, Caroline Davis (Katie Hirst), 85:50.
Total shots: Whitefish Bay 27; Marshfield 1.
Shots on goal: WB 17; M 1.
Corner kicks: WB 13; M 0.
Saves: WB, Elena Deslongchamps (65:06) 1, Abbey Yarbrough (24:54) 0; M, Mikayla Brueggen (83:27) 11, Ava Santerme (6:33) 2.
Records: Whitefish Bay 24-1; Marshfield 14-8-2.
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to OnFocus sports.