Hamilton soccer coach Chris Zuzick knew his team didn't play its best game of the season against Lake Country Lutheran on May 5, but an improved second half helped HHS win, 1-0.
'It was not one of our best games,' Zuzick said. 'We looked tired. We had a tough Menomonee Falls game on Tuesday (a 1-1 tie) where we played lights out in the second half and came back to tie the game. A lot of girls are still getting to their midseason form. This was not one of our better games, but we got the victory, which is very important.'
LCL threatened to score on several occasions in the first half. In the sixth minute, Lutheran had a breakaway shot by Mady Rowedder that was blocked by Hamilton keeper Megan Cannestra. LCL had another opportunity in the 21st, but a shot from the right side of the field went wide left.
In the second half, the teams went back and forth with shot opportunities. The Chargers nearly scored in the 70th minute when a shot hit the cross bar, bounced off LCL's keeper and collided with the right post before going out of bounds.
At the 70:16 mark, Hamilton's Allie Banda took advantage of a mistake and put the ball in the back of the net for the game winner. Amber Goodreau sent a cross in the box to Banda, who sent a shot in that bounced off an LCL keeper's leg and into the goal.
'I think we didn't come out playing our normal game in the first half,' Banda said. 'We picked it up definitely in the second half, connected some more passes and got the goal.'
At 75:37, LCL had a free kick just outside the 18. Haddie Carlson took the kick, which hit the cross bar and was cleared by the Hamilton defense.
'When it came off her foot, I thought it was perfect,' LCL coach Jeremy Hedrick said. 'I could hear it ringing off the post, but I couldn't actually see it through all the people. It was a great shot; unfortunately, it didn't fall. We had a couple other ones where she was inside and couldn't quite poke it past. We had a couple of them that came off the keeper's hands and should have had someone there for it, but we didn't.'
Hamilton freshman Cayla Provan torched Lutheran with her blazing speed and set up several shot opportunities for the Chargers.
'She's just a great weapon for us,' Zuzick said. 'She's a heady player. She can take it inside, she can take it outside, she can cross the ball in. She gives us an option that allows us to do a lot of different things.'
LCL is ranked No. 4 in Division 4, according to the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association. Hamilton is on the honorable-mention list in D1.
'(Hamilton) has been on a phenomenal run this year,' Hedrick said. 'They're an outstanding team, watching them play today. They know where they're supposed to play the ball, they know where to be, they play great defense. ... They're a great team.'
Against Falls, Isabel Downs scored for HHS to tie the game at 1. On May 6, Hamilton beat Nicolet, 3-2. McKenna DePue and Melina Murtos scored for the Chargers. Downs had an assist in the game.