A tough road loss dampened the Ozaukee soccer team’s hope for a Central Lakeshore Conference championship May 22.
After taking a 2-1 lead against Oostburg in a battle of title contenders, the Warriors saw the lead fade into a 3-2 defeat.
Cheyenne Thien sparked a late rally by the home team by providing the tying goal in the 64th minute and adding the winning score in the closing minutes.
Oostburg improved its CLC record to 8-3-1, while Ozaukee fell to 9-3. Starting this week, both teams trail first-place Cedar Grove-Belgium (9-2-1) and runner-up Howards Grove (8-2-1).
Warriors coach Eric Liebergen called the loss a “disappointing result for us, with our chances for the conference title lessened.”
“We need to play with more urgency and protect our leads,“ he said. “Our defense is better than what we played.”
Ozaukee scored first when Emily Janke raced past the Lady Dutch defense and found the net in the eighth minute.
“It was a great hustle goal,” Liebergen said.
Oostburg answered two minutes later when Sam Richter scored on a follow-up shot off a free kick. Janke put the Warriors up, 2-1, in the 56th minute, setting the stage for Thien’s heroics.
Liebergen singled out the work of goalkeeper Kaylee Klopp.
“Kaylee had a very nice game for us with eight saves, but we let her down with our clearing and marking,” he said.
Despite the defeat, Liebergen said he’s hopeful his team will regroup to make a run similar to last year. After losing to Oostburg late in the regular season and having to share the CLC title with the Dutch, Ozaukee went undefeated in the WIAA playoffs on the way to the Division 3 state crown.
Ozaukee 2, Sheboygan Lutheran/Kohler 0
The host Warriors scored a goal in each half in a conference win May 20.
Halee VandeBoom provided the winning goal in the 32nd minute with an assist from Emily Janke.
At 71 minutes, Lizzie Janke doubled the margin with a goal, assisted by Bridget Hoffmann.
Klopp had seven saves to help secure the shutout.
This week, the Warriors (12-4-3 overall) will host Sheboygan Christian at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and play a 5 p.m. nonconference match at Kenosha St. Joseph on Friday.
On June 3, Ozaukee will conclude regular-season play at home with a 4:30 p.m. league game against Random Lake.
Image information: OZAUKEE’S Ashley Preisler (left) slipped past a Sheboygan Lutheran/Kohler player during a Central Lakeshore Conference match May 20. Ozaukee scored a 2-0 win but lost to Oostburg, 3-2, two days later, tightening a four-team battle for the conference championship. Photo by Sam Arendt