Reid scores game winner in semifinals, lose in final

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Nov.12, 2014 By Paul Bressler

The UW-Whitewater men’s soccer team’s unbeaten streak came to an end with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of UW-Oshkosh in the WIAC Tournament championship Friday night at Titan Stadium.

“We outplayed them the previous week at home, and we felt good about this game,” senior defender Ryan Reid said. “As the game got closer to the end, it became frustrating, because we weren’t playing as ourselves and we knew it. The terrible weather conditions played into their hands.  If this game was played at Fiskum Field, we’d be the WIAC champions.”

The Warhawks had run their unbeaten streak to 12 with a victory against UW-Superior on Wednesday night.

The stretch saw the ’Hawks accumulate a 9-0-3 record during the span. The team had also held 11 of their last 20 opponents scoreless. The loss was the only the second time they were shut out all season.

The previous defeat came on Aug. 29 in the team’s opening match against Loras College.

The ’Hawks started the match fending off a flurry of offensive attacks by the Titans. The team didn’t record their first shot until senior midfielder Michael Montanye hit one wide in the 22nd minute.

Ten minutes later the offense showed great promise. The ’Hawks earned three corners in under a minute, but the team couldn’t get a shot off. Just minutes later senior midfielder Sam Kuchenreuther put a shot on goal only to have UW-O goalkeeper Sam Gabrilska come up with a big save in the 39th minute.

The second half was much of the same for the Warhawks.

The team couldn’t get much offense going and conceded a goal in the 68th minute to freshman forward Nick Gonzales.

“They’re a team that’s technically good on the ball,” captain and senior goalkeeper Josh Rohde said. “They like to play high up the field and play with a lot of pace. That’s difficult for any team to cope with.”

The ’Hawks put together a good offensive set in the 79th minute that nearly landed them the tying goal on a header from Kuchenreuther, but Gabrilska came up big again.

The team’s last real chance came in the 87th minute with a shot by senior defender Kody Mjelde.

Gabrilska made his final save and vanquished the ’Hawks’ chances at extending the game into overtime. The Titans outshot the ’Hawks 13-7 with eight of their chances on goal. The last time these two teams met they played to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Nov. 2 in Whitewater on Senior Day.

Although the ’Hawks did not come away with a victory, captain  midfielder John Gottwald was awarded the WIAC Max Sparger Scholar-Athlete Award. He received the honor, prior to the match, for academic and athletic excellence. Gottwald is the first men’s player to receive the award.

“He [Gottwald] is a soft-spoken leader who leads by example,” Reid said. “He is one of the nicest kids I know, and he truly cares about the well-being of each individual on the team. He’s as good on the field as he is in the classroom. Other than giving a great haircut, we also count on him for our offense. If he doesn’t show up game after game, we suffer.”

Reid came up huge once again with a game-winning goal in the final seconds to push the Warhawks passed UW-Superior in the semi-finals of the WIAC Tournament.

“I was more relieved than anything,” Reid said. “We had so much pressure on us, because we all knew the implications that went along with that game. The goal didn’t require much work from me. To be quite honest, I was happier for the team than myself. It was a collective win and we were one step closer to the conference championship and the NCAA Tournament.”

Yellowjacket sophomore midfielder Gio Rodriguez, and the team’s leading scorer, nearly broke the game open with a laser from top of the box in the 62nd minute.

Rohde held strong on the Yellowjacket’s only shot in the half.

“As strange as it sounds that’s the beauty of soccer,” Rohde said. “No doubt about it there is pressure, but that’s when a player’s true character shows. I think that’s something this team has: character.”

The game hung in the balance for much of the second half and up until it appeared the final seconds of regulation would tick off.

With seconds remaining, Montanye earned a corner kick after hustling down a through ball.

The captain launched the ball into the box before junior midfielder Kyle Ricely’s shot was blocked. Reid pounded back the put back and gave the ’Hawks a 1-0 lead with five seconds left.

“Those are the moments that every soccer player lives for,” Reid said. “As a senior, I know that my collegiate career is approaching its end. I constantly remind myself that if we don’t win I may not have another chance to step on the field with my teammates again.”

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