The Robins opened the first half fast and strong in a show of force not yet seen this season. The entire first half, Antigo was able to send passes over Medford’s heads giving the Robins strikers numerous opportunities. Coach Ben Wilhelm said “Tonight we tried a more offensive minded formation and it really paid off. With three strikers and three midfielders we were able to do a lot more offensive damage from the start.”
Scoring first for Antigo was senior Will Brown at 35 minutes in. Unfortunately while defending their goal, the Robins recorded one own goal to tie the score 1-1. However, Antigo continued to fight on and senior Noah Samolinski scored at 38 minutes to retake the lead. Then in the last minute of the first half, Noah Samolinski again found the net, this time assisted by his brother Alex. Antigo goalkeeper Cordell Umland had a terrific first half performance only allowing one goal, notching 8 saves, plus stopping a penalty kick as well.
Heading into halftime up 3-1, coach Wilhelm noted “In the first half we had an enormous amount of positive energy and our guys played harder than I’ve seen yet this season. And it’s tough to recall a time we’ve confidently lead a conference opponent heading into half.” In second half play, the Raiders came out stronger than the first. The score remained 3-1 until the 60th and 61st minute when Medford scored back to back goals to bring the game back to a tie at 3-3. Antigo soldiered on but began to show signs of tiredness. Although tired the Robins still managed a number of second half shots on goal, but not nearly as many as the first half. With only 3 minutes remaining in the match, Medford secured their fourth goal and the lead, and then scored one last time with just one minute remaining, leading to a final score of 5-3.
Coach Wilhelm closed by saying “I’m so proud of the work our guys did tonight. Tonight these young men showed an unprecedented amount of energy and drive, balanced with patience, control, and class. In the end we were all incredibly heartbroken with the way the final minute played out leading to our loss. But on the way home we talked a lot about how we still have a number of games left and we’re not done yet!”
The Robins have a busy coming week visiting Northland Lutheran on Monday, then to Rhinelander on Tuesday, and finishing their regular season on Thursday at Lakeland.