Lakeland’s Brandon Boh knocks a header towards the goal during a 3-1 loss for the Thunderbirds at Mosinee on Thursday night.
Lakeland’s Brandon Boh knocks a header towards the goal during a 3-1 loss for the Thunderbirds at Mosinee on Thursday night.
The Lakeland boys’ soccer team’s season officially ended when the clock struck the 90th minute in Mosinee last Thursday night. 

But for all intents and purposes, the Thunderbirds were finished when the Indians scored their third goal in the 40th minute.

Before that, Lakeland only trailed by one, coming back from a 2-0 deficit, and seemed to possess new life.  

But in soccer, the added weight of another goal is extreme, and the T-Birds became bogged down and fell to the Indians 3-1 in the second round of the WIAA soccer playoffs.

From the start, the Thunderbirds were playing catch-up. In the fourth minute of the game, Lakeland goalie Mason Holmquist deflected a shot back into play. Mosinee’s Cole Holtz passed that rebound over to his brother Toren and he knocked it in for a 1-0 lead.

Lakeland then took over possession, dominated the midfield, and kept the ball on the offensive third of the field for the next 20 minutes, and although they had some chances,  were unable to capitalize. 

In the 17th minute Lakeland’s Kyle Peterson had a wide open net but his shot rolled just right. A minute later he again had a clear right side of the net but his shot went wide. Right after that Sam Hiller had space on the left side of the net but also shot wide.

“First half we had some shots and we hand some nice chances,” co-head coach Stephanie Hartzheim said. “They just didn’t go in, but we were getting shots.”

Not getting the shots in the net though would come back to haunt Lakeland as Mosinee would take ample opportunity of their short time with the ball.  

In the 24th minute Cole Vandehey scored from the same spot Holtz had, just right of center in the box, to make it 2-0.

But three minutes later Sam Hiller would spark life into Lakeland with a goal from the left side of the box, and the T-Birds were within one.

For the next 15 minutes, Lakeland, again, dominated possession but were unable to generate quality scoring opportunities.

“The shots we were taking were from farther out,” co-head coach Rhonda Maulson said. “We needed to open up space so that we could work the ball through and get some combination plays going and we really didn’t do that much, as far as combination plays and playing off of each other.”

Mosinee, on the other hand took advantage of the space given them and in the 40th minute Vandehey would get past his defender, again, receive a quick touch pass from Zach Kane, and score the backbreaker to go up 3-1, which ended up being the final score.

“It’s all about the space. If you mark up tight and not let them turn, they don’t have that chance,” Hartzheim said.

In the second half Lakeland continued to fight but seemed to have the air knocked out them, and they struggled to find offensive rhythm. This severely crippled their comeback attempt against the muscle of Mosinee.

“We were outmatched physically,” Maulson said. “They challenged in the air and won most of the head balls. Just physically they were stronger. I don’t know that they were better skilled but they were more physical.”

Mosinee used that strength all night for position, and they got nine shots on goal, one more than Lakeland, despite possessing the ball for much less time.

Lakeland finishes the season 8-13-2 overall and 3-7-2 in the Great Northern Conference. 

Jacob Friede may be reached at jacob@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.com.