Sports

Soccer squad clinches crown

MATT WALZ and the Christian/Lutheran soccer team finished tied for first in the Big East. – Photo by Dave Boehler

For the first time since 2015, the Christian/Lutheran soccer team is champion of the Big East Conference.

The Eagles crushed Cedar Grove-Belgium, 10-0, Thursday, to finish tied with Oostburg at 6-0-1 after finishing third last year.

Coach Dan Oppeneer felt his squad had a legitimate shot at first before the season began.

“You just never know how it’s going to work out,” he said. “With COVID, with injuries, it was really hard to tell. But we had a lot of returning players and we thought we had the ability.”

Christian/Lutheran improved to 10-1-2 as Chase Bolden and Ben Parks each had two goals against the Rockets. Like those two, Jack DuMez also got his first goal of the season, and Aiden Balint added two assists.

Tony Schmitz and Caden Solle each played a half as goalkeeper, as the Eagles have allowed just two goals in winning their last five games.

“It was a great night for our seniors,” Oppeneer said. “All seven of our seniors played nearly the entire game.

“We played as a team probably as good as we have all year. We played unselfishly and just cared about our teammates. But yet still at the same time, we celebrated one of our goals. There’s obviously more goals. We didn’t make it past the first week of playoffs last year, so that’s our next goal.”

UP NEXT: The Eagles are seeded second in the Division 3 playoffs and host No. 7 Cedar Grove-Belgium in the first round on Thursday. Oostburg received the No. 1 seed in the bracket.

“We’re ranked No. 4 in the state, that means we have the ability to go as far as we want to,” Oppeneer said.

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