The Reedsburg prep boys soccer team was on its heels for much of Tuesday’s home game against Baraboo.
The Beavers’ defense held off Baraboo’s early barrage, but the high-scoring Thunderbirds eventually broke through to hand Reedsburg a 5-0 Badger North Conference loss.
“We were really defending well last night, especially in the first half,” Reedsburg assistant coach Bryon Williams said Wednesday morning. “Overall we played well keeping the game close and then they had two quick goals in the second half to stretch their lead.
“Baraboo just has an overall good group of players. They control the ball well and are aggressive when they attack.”
The T-Birds (11-2-1, 3-0-1 Badger North) were aggressive from the get-go, but the Beavers (2-11-1, 0-4-0) were able to fend off the early barrage, which included a pair of Johan Lopez shots, a Hunter Bielicki header and a Ronaldo Lopez shot that Reedsburg goalie Braeden Weix deflected over the goal.
“They had some opportunities to score early, but we put enough pressure on them to not give them a clean look,” Williams said.
Baraboo 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 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.
Still, Weix and the Reedsburg defense were able to frustrate Baraboo despite the T-Birds taking a 2-0 lead into halftime.
“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.
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 road doesn’t get any easier for the Beavers, who will visit Sauk Prairie on Saturday. The Eagles are tied with Baraboo for second place in the Badger North, trailing Mount Horeb.
“If we play well and execute we have some games down the stretch we can use to get ourselves prepared for regionals,” Williams said.
Baraboo 2 3 — 5
Reedsburg 0 0 — 0
First half: Bielicki, 18:02; R. Lopez, 37:43.
Second half: Bielicki, 49:00; Bielicki, 65:16; Bielicki, 65:52.