Waukesha West’s sixth appearance at the WIAA state soccer tournament ended in disappointment on Thursday night. Despite making it to the semifinals, the Wolverines suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to West De Pere, a team making its first appearance at the state level.
Reflecting on the team’s performance, Wolverines head coach Bryce Warner acknowledged their impressive record of reaching the sectional finals and state tournament multiple times in a row. However, he expressed the team’s frustration in not being able to secure a victory on the big stage.
In the first half, Waukesha West took an early lead with two goals. Andrew James scored the first goal in the 13th minute, assisted by senior Chase Frea. The sophomore was also involved in the second goal, providing an assist to senior Connor Urban in the 25th minute.
Despite dominating the game with a total of 20 shots compared to West De Pere’s 8, Waukesha West failed to find the back of the net after halftime. West De Pere fought back in the second half, with junior Landen Arnstad scoring in the 53rd minute to narrow the gap.
The game took a dramatic turn in the final minute when West De Pere scored an equalizer from a free kick, scored by sophomore Carter Borley. This sent the game into overtime. In the first half of the overtime period, West De Pere’s Arnstad capitalized on a shot from junior Kaveh Garania to give his team a 3-2 lead in the 86th minute. Despite their efforts, Waukesha West was unable to mount a comeback, ultimately falling short.
Looking ahead to the future, Coach Warner remains optimistic. With the majority of starters returning next year, he believes the team has a strong foundation to build upon. He credits the graduating seniors for their leadership and contributions throughout the season. Warner emphasizes the importance of immediate preparation for the next season, starting right after their banquet.
West De Pere will advance to the state championship, facing the winner between DeForest and Union Grove. The WIAA Division 2 state soccer championship is scheduled for Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Waukesha West falls 3-2 in overtime state soccer semifinal
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