Soccer: In finest moment, New Richmond girls honor fallen teammate
In their finest moment, the girls of New Richmond soccer team paid tribute to a teammate who couldn't be there to celebrate with them.
The New Richmond girls soccer team clinched the 2018 Middle Border Conference championship with the 10-0 victory over Amery last Tuesday. And at halftime of the game, the Tigers paid tribute teammate Megan Bennig, who died in a car accident last October. In the halftime ceremony, the Tigers recognized Bennig's parents, Trent and Mary. The players then released 13 balloons, in recognition of Bennig's jersey number.
Tiger coach Tracey Boyle said the team has kept Megan in their thoughts throughout the season.
"You deal with it and you keep going, but you never get over it," Boyle said. "It was a good opportunity to recognize her parents and for the girls to let them know we won't forget her."
The Tigers completed a perfect 7-0 MBC season with their win over Amery last Tuesday. One of the strengths of the Tigers are the many girls who are capable of scoring. Against Amery, the attack was led by Maya Greenquist with four goals. Hannah Jensen scored twice, and Amanda Johnson, Maria Giannini, Meghan Schleicher and Teresa Tenner each scored once in the game.
The Tigers finish as outright MBC champions in 2018 after sharing the conference title with Hayward last year.
One of the most anxiously awaited dates on the Tigers' schedule was Saturday, when the Tigers played in a tournament at Rhinelander. The Tigers opened the tournament against Rhinelander, but it was the second game of the day that has been marked on the players' calendars for months.
The Tigers took care of Rhinelander, 4-2. Kacie Malone scored twice for the Tigers. Jhette Gabriel had one goal and Anna Hop scored off a header.
The second game of the day was against Pulaski, the team which beat the Tigers in the WIAA Division 2 sectional championship game last June. With both teams returning large shares of their roster, this game was a good chance for them to show their intentions for this year's postseason. The Tigers made their intentions clear, winning 3-2.
The game completes the Tigers' regular season. Over the past two regular seasons, the Tigers have a combined record of 34-1-1.
The Tigers scored first against Pulaski, with Malone getting the opening goal. Pulaski came back to score the next two goals. The Tigers tied the score when Greenquist scored on a crossing pass out of the corner.
It was junior Amanda Johnson who scored the deciding goal, charging through the Pulaski defense to get the score.
The Tigers played Saturday's games without one of their leading scorers, Amelia Feuerer, who was ill. Boyle said the team's depth showed with girls stepping into Feuerer's role at forward to keep the attack working at the same high level.
"We definitely showed our potential," Boyle said of Saturday's wins. "We rise to accomplish goals and play at the level we need to play."
The Tigers don't play again until the opening round of WIAA regionals on Thursday, May 31. To fill the void, the coaches have planned a full intrasquad game this Thursday to keep the team sharp.