The Rhinelander High School boys' soccer team found themselves down 1-4 before rallying back to score three straight goals to tie the Great Northern Conference match. But hand ball in the Hodags box in the final minute of the contest would give the Indians an extra goal on the penalty kick and the 5-4 conference win at Mike Webster Stadium. The slipper and wet field conditions also proved to be less than ideal for both teams on the night.
Freshman Toren Holtz gave Mosinee a 1-0 advantage in the 21st minute. Holtz connected to the top left corner off a rebound. He would then score again in the 39th minute to the bottom right corner to give the Indians a 2-0 lead at halftime.
Mosinee would then take a convincing 3-0 lead in the first five minutes of the second half. Cole Vandehey connected to the bottom right corner in the 50th minute.
Senior striker Mathew Von Oepen kept the Hodags alive and would score all four of Rhinelander's goal to draw even with Mosinee. Just two minutes after Vandehey scored, Von Oepen answered to put RHS on the board in the 52nd minute off an assist from Nicholas St. Pierre.
Goppel would put Mosinee back ahead by three goals shortly after connecting to the bottom left goal post in the 55th minute of action. Goppel's shot trickled of Randolph's glove and deflected into the net.
But Von Oepen's scoring was far from over, as he scored three more goals and was able to tie the match up 4-4. In the 62nd minute, Martin Hoger had a well placed cross that Von Oepen was able to head in and pulled RHS within two goals. And the Hodags would get within on goal after Von Oepen scored on an unassisted goal in the 73rd minute.
In the 77th minute Rhinelander scored their final goal of the night on a corner kick taken by Hoger. Von Oepen was able to head in the corner kick to even the score up 4-4.
Both Rhinelander and Mosinee had scoring opportunities in the final 10 minutes of the match. The Hodags had a chance to take the lead in the 85th minute when senior defender Freddy Wisner chipped a ball to the far post with keeper Adam Moucha out of position. Hoger was on the receiving end that tried to tap one in, with St. Pierre trying to quickly put the ball away. But Indian's defender Ryan Walsh was able to clear the ball that just narrowly missed crossing the goal line. Wisner then had a direct free kick about 35 yards back that Moucha deflected out of bounds.
The Hodags were then called for an inadvertent handball in their box with 42 seconds remaining in the match. The ball deflected off RHS defender Harrison Shinners forearm and the officials ruled for the penalty kick which proved to be the difference in the match. Goppel took the penalty kick and put the game winning past senior keeper Josh Randolph to the bottom right corner.
On the night Rhinelander held at 26-15 advantage on total shots on the night and a 16-12 edge on shots on goal. Randolph recorded seven saves in the loss.
With the loss, the Hodags officially will be out of the conference championship race. RHS will host Northland Pines Thursday afternoon at the RHS soccer fields. The game was originally scheduled at Mike Webster but was changed due to poor field conditions. Kick-off is set for 4:15PM as the Hodags take on the Eagles who are remained undefeated in the GNC at 8-0.