Prairie soccer opens season with two matches

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Prairie du Chien's Josh Dyer battles for the ball versus Driftless United Thursday.

Prairie's Duke Scherf gains control and gets ready to pass the ball upfield Thursday against visiting Driftless United. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Prairie du Chien's Landon Kohler moves the ball deep into United Driftless territory.

Mark Welter of Prairie du Chien slides for the ball against visiting Driftless United during Prairie's opening soccer match of the season.


West Salem 8, PdC 1

The Prairie du Chien boys soccer team hosted West Salem Saturday for a nonconference match versus the D3 Panthers.

The Blackhawks played strong, but the speed and experience of the Panthers combined with excellent passing found creases in the PdC defense scoring three times in the first period of the match.  Salem scored a fourth quick goal one minute into the second period and took a 4-0 lead.  

Prairie countered just three minutes later. Preston Hendrix delivered a quick pass to Landon Kohler at the top of the box. His hard shot ricocheted off the goalie to the closing Mark Welter who tapped it in for the score. The Panthers scored again in the 67th minute to increase the lead to 5-1.

At this point, PdC replaced the field with its less experienced and new players. In an unusual move for a historically amiable team, West Salem seized the opportunity to return to its strong front and ran up three additional goals in the last five minutes of the game resulting in a 8-1 final score.

Though the score does not reflect it, the Blackhawks were significantly improved in this their second outing with noticeably better passing, control and team work. The team had another slow first half with only 2 shots on goal, but were not dissuaded. They upped the level of play in the second half to produce 11 shots. Freshman Justice Olmstead, in goal, had another good day with 20 saves.

The Hawks go on the road Tuesday as they travel to Mauston and then Thursday they travel to Spring Green to begin SWC play against River Valley.


Driftless United 2, PdC 1

The soccer team opened their 2018 season hosting the Driftless United Club Team from Viroqua Thursday night.  

The Blackhawks played hard against the quick United team but gave up a quick goal in the eighth minute. The inexperience of the starting 11 playing together showed the first half.  Driftless controlled the ball for the majority of the first half and slipped in a second goal at the 44:29 mark to take a 2-0 lead.

The Blackhawks regrouped at half and played the second with poise and focus. Improved passing and communication flipped ball control to the Hawks. The defensive back line of Ben Teynor, Joe Gourdin, Anthony Irvin and Duke Scherf shut down all Viroqua’s drives.  In the middle field, Mark Welter, Weston Hill, Josh Dyer and Spencer DeHart did an excellent job of spreading the field and managing the flow to provide forwards Preston Hendrix and Landon Kohler several good scoring opportunities. The Hawks went from a single shot on goal in the first half to 7 good shots and 3 corners in the second.

Finally, in the 84th minute, PdC scored when Preston Hendrix delivered a hard cross to put the Hawks within 1. But, it would be the only score for the Hawks in the match, which ended with a tough 2-1 loss.  Jaret Semanko, Domonic Tanner, Brody Reames and Shaun Downey provided strong rotation during the contest and freshman, Justice Olmstead, in goal and in his first high school outing, did an excellent job with 10 saves. 

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