Hunter Bielicki's late penalty kick capped off the Baraboo High School boys soccer team's comeback win over Madison Edgewood on Tuesday.
Bielicki stepped up in the 79th minute and buried a penalty kick to give the host Thunderbirds a 2-1 win over the Crusaders in a season-opening game at Baraboo High School.
Zach Huffaker made a couple late plays to allow Baraboo's lead to stand up. The junior goalkeeper made a close-range save in the 88th minute, while an Edgewood free kick in the closing seconds came up empty.
The T-Birds, who went 13-5-2 in 2019, got off to a slow start in their first game of 2020. Madison Edgewood (0-1) created all the pressure early, winning a number of corner kicks. The fourth one found the mark, as Benjamin Stitgen assisted Daniel Blachowicz at the 5:41 mark to give Edgewood a 1-0 lead.
The T-Birds (1-0) eventually turned the tide of possession. Their first shot of the day came in the ninth minute, as Ronaldo Lopez sent a deep free kick into the stomach of Edgewood goalie Grant Merckx.
Soon after, Bielicki and Ethan Uptagraw teamed up along the right sideline to create pressure that led to another Lopez shot. Johan Lopez, Ronaldo's twin brother, struck the right post with a shot around the 15th minute.
After creating several scoring chances, Baraboo's first goal of the night came on the counterattack. Edgewood's 34th-minute corner kick went nowhere and Baraboo was off and running.
Uptagraw, a freshman, got free down the left sideline and lofted a shot over Merckx and into the right side of the goal to tie the game at 1 at the 34:32 mark. It was the first high school goal for Uptagraw, who is one of six freshmen starting the season on Baraboo's varsity team.
"Ethan has really great speed," Baraboo head coach Tyler Lang said of Uptagraw during Monday's practice. "He has excellent ball control and is ambidextrous, he can take shots with his left or right."
The teams were fairly even the rest of the way, with each creating a number of scoring chances that came up empty. The decisive goal came on a penalty at the 78:56 mark. Bielicki, a senior who scored a team-leading 17 goals last season, put the penalty shot in the right side of the goal to give the T-Birds a 2-1 lead.
Baraboo will stay home to host Watertown on Thursday.
Follow Brock Fritz on Twitter @BrockFritz
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