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The Mosinee boys soccer team celebrates its regional championship after defeating Waupaca 2-1 in a WIAA Division 2 regional final Saturday at Waupaca High School. (Submitted photo)

Zaleski Sports

WAUPACA – Toren Holtz scored two goals in a three-minute span early in the second half and Mosinee held off a late flurry by Waupaca to beat the Comets 2-1 in a WIAA Division 2 boys soccer regional final on Saturday night at Waupaca High School.

The Indians (17-4) advance to sectionals for the fourth time in the past six years and will play a third match of the season against Great Northern Conference champion Lakeland (16-2-3) on Thursday at Minocqua. The two teams split the conference matches this season.

Nerves and an amped up crowd led to some uneven play to begin with by both sides, Mosinee coach Joseph Carlson said.

Waupaca's outstanding Bryce Bolt was a force to be reckoned with and eventually he broke through when a ball rebounded his way after a corner kick. From that moment forward, however, Mosinee's Josh Ivey locked down Bolt, and he, nor the Comets, would not get another goal,” Carlson said.

The first of the key moments would happen late in the half. A through ball had Mosinee's Caden Schmirler sprinting for the equalizer. Waupaca's center back and keeper charged, and a violent collision knocked all three players down, and out of the game. The play was correctly called as a no foul play, but all three players were done for the night due to the collision. The loss of the Waupaca keeper loomed large later in the game as the half closed with Waupaca up, 1-0.

Coming out of halftime, Mosinee knew that Waupaca was playing with a new keeper. The unsettled nature of the situation led to moment No. 2. Toren Holtz created an opportunity for himself and took a loose ball down the core of the Waupaca defense just one minute into the half and lit up the scoreboard for Mosinee.

The momentum clearly had shifted to Mosinee and rattled the Waupaca defense. The chaotic moment yielded Toren a second breakaway, and goal, just two minutes later.

The final key moment came with about two minutes remaining, Carlson added. With Waupaca pushing up for the equalizer, Mosinee fouled Waupaca just outside the penalty area. Mosinee was struggling to organize a wall and mark up the opposition, so Mosinee's Garret Donohue stood over the ball to delay the game. Garret took a yellow card and was sent off for his actions, but the delay gave Mosinee the time it needed to organize, and the play yielded a harmless shot that the Indians converted to a goal kick. The final minute of regulation was a flurry of action, but Mosinee kept the Comets out of the goal and advanced with a 2-1 victory and win its ninth-straight game.

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