myracinecounty – One for the history books

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Burlington’s Korbin King (left) battles for ball control with a Fort Atkinson player during the WIAA Regional game on October 19 at Fort Atkinson. The Demons won 3-2 for their first playoff victory since 2005. (Photo by Mike Ramczyk)

Burlington football team claim first playoff victory since 2005

By Mike Ramczyk

Corresponding

This one was special.

When the dying seconds struck on Oct. 19 at Fort Atkinson High School and the Burlington boys’ soccer team made history with a 3-2 playoff victory, several players headed for around the corner and enjoyed a big group hug.

They all hugged and walked over to their side, gloating with wide smiles, high fives, and the satisfaction of doing something that hasn’t been done since some of them were babies, or even not yet born.

In fact, the 12 seniors were around 2 years old in 2005, when Burlington beat Waterford 1-0 in overtime for the program’s last playoff win.

For the strong senior class who promised to turn things around when many of them started college as freshmen in 2018, the countless hours of futsal, clubball and leagues from summer during the offseason have finally paid off.

Could things be better for demons 11-5-3?

“No,” said senior captain Drew Stutzman, who could barely contain his excitement after the game. “I know we haven’t had a winning record since 2011. I’m delighted. After each goal, I was screaming. The guys were all happy. It’s just the simple things at the end. Ethan (Nienhaus) blocked a corner and we left. “

The Demons pulled out of the playoffs in Saturday’s regional final with a 3-0 loss to Oregon, but the loss failed to shine a solid season for Burlington’s schedule.

Burlington head coach Jake Cacciotti had no idea the Demons hadn’t won a playoff game since 2005, but he knew it had been a long time.

He is happy for this final year class.

“It was as good or better than we expected,” Cacciotti said. “It’s been a long time. I just told the guys in our group. Especially for these seniors, they’ve been working for four years. They came a little different because they started in first year. They continue to do this year job. after year.

Stutzman said the Demons were sacked in the 46th minute when the Blackhawks opened the scoring on a penalty. Players thought the Fort player just fell on purpose to get the call and got it, but that motivated the demons.

Two minutes later, Ben Graham faced a few guys and finished with his left foot for a skylight goal, and in the 67th minute Burlington took a 2-1 lead when Kolton Krueger was in the box and scored. a good touch from Graham, who benefited from a strong throw-in from senior Brad Roe.

“Their team kind of started talking right after their first goal, and we shot and we were like, ‘Okay, let’s win this game,'” said Stutzman.

Then in the 67th minute, Brady Marchese, who usually plays right-back but has played up front in the last few games, scored his third goal in as many games as he sank down the left side and passed several Fort defenders in the left side. from the net.

Burlington took a 3-1 lead.

In the final 12 minutes, Fort reduced the score to 3-2 in the 71st, but Burlington goalkeeper Casey Sommers made two huge saves as he had to leave his zone and go head-to-head. to thwart the chances of scoring.

Sommers finished with six saves.

“It’s amazing,” Marchese said after the game. “It feels really good. My goal was really good. I just did what I did, and it worked.

“I’m really excited and excited, because I know we’ve all worked really hard,” Krueger added. “All those years of getting your ass fucked hard in these regional games, and now it’s our turn to come back to them.”

Marchese and Krueger said the guys wanted to leave everything on the pitch for the playoffs, and they hit it off really well.

The Demons, who were slightly upset as the No.9 seed against No.8 Fort Atkinson, won a game on Saturday against Oregon (14-0-2), ranked No.2 in the state in division 2.

Stutzman added that the defense was a unit on Tuesday. He said the Demons clicked lately.

“It clicked when we beat Westosha (October 12), and now it feels like playing real football,” he said. “Everything feels smoother and it’s more fun to play. “

For Cacciotti, who had to speak in front of a loud, celebrating group of demons, whatever comes forward is the icing on the cake.

“We’re going to celebrate one way or another,” he said. “We have a few days before Oregon Saturday. We’re going to have fun and we’re looking forward to it.

The Demons won their last regular season game, 2-1, on Oct. 14 in Milton.

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