The Rhinelander High School girls' soccer team continued their playoff run on Saturday at the RHS soccer fields when the blanked Medford 10-0 in the WIAA Division 3 regional final match. Junior Brooke Mork led the way with a hat trick in the striker position as RHS took a 6-0 lead at halftime and never looked back. It also marked Rhinelander's fourth regional title in the past five seasons.
Mork started the scoring in the 12th minute on an assist from Elaa Schiek. Although Rhinelander had several early looks at the net, they would not connect on their second goal until the 28th minute. This time Schiek chipped a shot in from about 23 yards back to give the Hodags a 2-0 advantage.
Rhinelander rallied in the final six minutes of the first half and would tack on four more goals to their lead to push ahead 6-0 at the break. The Hodags offense were able to break down the Raider's packed in defense and capitalize on their opportunities. Mork found senior Alayna Franson on a run into the box and would assist sophomore teammate Izzy Haverkampf on their third goal in the 39th minute.
Franson would add a pair of goals and Mork would convert on her second of the night to close out the first 45 minutes of action. The Hodags would take a comfortable 6-0 lead which allowed them to rest their 10 starters after about 15 minutes of playing the second half.
In the 59th minute, Mork would complete her hat-trick on a shot fired inside the 18-yard box that deflected of a Medford defender and back inside the left post. From there, a few underclassmen got in on the scoring. Freshman Kat Metropulos scored in the 67th minute on a cross from Jaden Olski and marked her second goal on postseason action. While fellow freshman Haylee Campbell would score her first varsity career goal in the 76th minute on a rebound on her own shot.
Kenedy Van Zile who played the first half in Mork's position at center defender would move up to a midfield position and forward. Franson assisted Van Zile on her breakaway goal to end the game over six minutes early via the 10-goal mercy rule.
Overall Rhinelander held a 55-2 advantage on total shots on the night and shutout both opponents in their opening playoff matches.
The Hodags will now host second-seed New London in the sectional seminfinals on Thursday at the RHS soccer fields Kick-off is set for 5:00PM. On the top half of the playoff bracket, Ashland also advanced to the sectional semifinals after defeating Somerset 2-1. Update: The Oredockers will face three-seed Rice Lake in the sectional semifinal match. This could potentially have GNC rivals facing in each other Saturday in the sectional final that will have a trip to the WIAA State tournament on the line.