Hunter Bielicki is having fun on his new soccer team.
The Baraboo High School junior, who transferred from Ohio prior to the season, scored four goals in the Thunderbirds’ 5-0 Badger North Conference win at Reedsburg on Tuesday.
“This is great,” Bielicki said after the win. “I’m loving it here in Baraboo. It’s definitely a fun group of players to play with. They all seem really competitive and we know we have a shot at winning conference.”
Bielicki and the Baraboo attackers came in waves Tuesday night. Reedsburg (2-11-1, 0-4-0 Badger North) was able to fend off the early barrage, which included a pair of Johan Lopez shots, a Bielicki shot and a Ronaldo Lopez shot that was deflected over the goal.
The T-Birds (11-2-1, 3-0-1) broke through in the 19th minute, when Bielicki took a pass from Will Jurvelin and put it in the back of the net to give Baraboo a 1-0 lead.
The chances kept coming, but the high-scoring T-Birds, who entered the day scoring 4.7 goals per game, didn’t find their mark again until the 38th minute. Baraboo’s depth of scoring options showed here, as the T-Birds didn’t miss a beat after Bielicki and Johan Lopez were subbed out. Seconds later, Jurvelin sent a pass to Ronaldo Lopez in the middle of the box. The freshman turned amid traffic and fired a shot to make it 2-0 T-Birds.
Baraboo took the two-goal lead into halftime, then turned it on over the final 45 minutes.
“In the first half, I thought we were a bit lethargic, but then we had a good halftime talk about making sure we’re staying focused and we’re getting up for every opponent,” Baraboo coach Tyler Lang said. “We turned it up in the second half.
“I thought it was a good team effort. Guys were hustling hard, communicating in the second half and that made a big difference.”
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Bielicki scored the first of his three-second half goals just 4 minutes into the period. His third came on a free kick opportunity in the 66th minute. Senior Oscar Fernandez-Hydzik quickly took the free kick, finding Bielicki in the middle of the penalty box to make it 4-0 Baraboo.
"I think Oscar saw it, but (goalkeeper) Will (Gunnell) talking to him on that quick free kick... that's just his vision and being able to communicate purposefully," Lang said of the senior goalie's role in the goal.
The final goal of the night came in the 76th minute, with Ronaldo Lopez sending a cross to Bielicki. The forward settled it with a touch, then scored his fourth goal of the night.
“He’s very intelligent,” Lang said of Bielicki. “He knows where to be, when to be there, and he just has that striker mentality of ‘If I get in front, this is going to give me the best opportunity.’ And he’s skilled and finishes well. He’s been a huge asset to us this year.”
“I think my strength would be making runs off the ball,” Bielicki added. “And today ... finishing.”
The T-Birds continued to create chances down the stretch, while the Baraboo defense posted its sixth straight shutout. Baraboo hasn’t allowed a goal since recording a 7-1 win over Wrightstown on Sept. 14. The T-Birds have outscored their opponents 24-0 since.
The T-Birds will go on the road Thursday to face Badger North-leading Mount Horeb for a chance to establish themselves in the conference title race.
“It’s going to be a battle,” Lang said. “I think it’s going to come down to tactics and who wants it. I’m looking forward to it.”