The first goal was big. The second showed which team was firmly in control.
The most important goal of the match, according to Waukesha West girls soccer coach David Zindler, came in the ninth minute when midfielder Sabrina DuPaix followed up a shot by fellow midfielder Maggie Fuller that was saved off the crossbar to give West a 2-0 lead. The Wolverines were off and running en route to a 5-1 win over crosstown rival Waukesha North in the WIAA Division 1 regional final June 7.
'The second one was even more important than the first,' said Zindler. 'The first one is important. We got one and then shortly thereafter, they slotted Ana Portz through and we were able to successfully defend it, but that would have drawn it back to level. It could have been a totally different game.'
Waukesha West came into the game with a 18-4 record on the season and previously defeated North in the regular season on April 23, 2-0. Waukesha West forward Dani Rhodes finished the game with two goals and one assist.
Rhodes opened up the game early scoring in the fourth minute, and she stayed on the attack the rest of the way.
Rhodes' goal came in a scramble in the front of the net after West was unable to connect on a free kick. North defender Jenna Schiewer sustained an injury during the process of the play and was not able to return.
Shortly after West went up 1-0, Waukesha North had chances to score in the fifth and seventh minute. The first shot went wide of the net, and the second attempt was on frame, but West goalkeeper Jessie Losiniecki was able to make the save.
The final score of the first half came in the 21st minute following a crossover by Rhodes that left her defender in a vulnerable position. Rhodes was then able find Amber Siewert, who put the ball in the back of the net.
Rhodes struck again in the 49th minute, scoring her second goal of the match off her left foot.
'Maggie put a great ball to the corner and I was looking to cross it, but the goal was open so I took a shot and it was open,' said Rhodes. 'My right is dominant, but I practice a lot with my left.'
North was able to get on the board as Portz scored a goal that hit of Losiniecki's hands in the 63rd minute.
'We are always at attacking,' said North coach Jeff Worzella. '(We were) attack minded to start the game, so we didn't have to change a lot other than just continue to go at it. I mean we didn't give up, but it was just not our day.'
West, which went through the Classic 8 with a 7-0 record during the regular season, advanced to face Whitefish Bay in a classic sectional matchup between the two top-ranked teams among the state's Division 2 teams. The teams have some history, as Whitefish Bay defeated West in the regular season, 4-1.
'We played Whitefish Bay on May 22 to do research. so since we lost, we've been preparing for Whitefish Bay,' said Zindler. 'We've prepared for the teams that we've had to play, but we sneak some time every training session to get prepared for that team. It's a beast. We've got our hands full we know that, but we're not going to be an easy out either.'