By Nick Freimuth & Peter Kerwin
Much to the dismay of Clipper Nation, the 2017 WIAA Division 4 State Championship was decided in the second minute on a Luis Garduno goal just two minutes into the game. The next 15 minutes saw the Hawks nearly convert on several runs toward the Clipper goal. Sturgeon was able to withstand the early onslaught by Prairie School and did not allow another goal in the game. The rest of the half saw the top two teams in Division 4 go toe-to-toe in a defensive battle.
At half time each team made adjustments and Sturgeon Bay came out the enforcer in the second half with numerous corner kicks and solid looks inside the 18. The Clippers unfortunately were unable to convert on those opportunities despite constant pressure. One would be goal cleared the keeper but was sent back by a Hawks defender. Addison Benszinger delivered two shots on goal in the final 30 minutes with one deflected over the cross bar.
After the dust settled, the Clippers fell to the Prairie School Hawks 1-0 in an intensely contested game played by two very technically sound teams. It closed out a very successful 2017 campaign led by seniors Ezra Haight, Liam Herbst, Eberhardt Dietzel, Trent Maas and Jaden Stevenson. The senior class were tremendous leaders and set up the Clipper Soccer program for great success for years to come. Stevenson finished as the second all-time leading goal scorer in the history of Wisconsin State Soccer with 161 goals. This senior class leaves the Clippers program having won a state Championship in 2015 and a state runner-up in 2017. Haight, Dietzel, Maas and Stevenson each have aspirations of playing college soccer next year.
The future is truly bright for Sturgeon Bay Clippers Soccer.