WAUNAKEE — Waunakee sophomore Isaiah Jakel normally relies on his right foot to provide the power.
But Tuesday night, his left foot made the difference in the waning minutes of Waunakee’s boys soccer match against Oregon during the WIAA’s alternate fall season this spring.
After the Oregon defense couldn’t clear the ball, a scramble ensued in front of Panthers senior goalkeeper Coltrane LoBreglio — who, to that point, had dazzled with several acrobatic, diving saves.
Jakel, a center midfielder, delivered the winner from about 9 yards after 86 minutes, 44 seconds of play in the Warriors’ 1-0 victory.
“The defenders failed to clear it,” Jakel said. “Josh Fried took the defender with him, and that left just me and the goalie. I just needed to get around that defender. My left foot is my weak foot, so it’s always tough to shoot with it. But I brought it to my left foot and played the corner — right outside the goalie’s hands. It tells me my left foot is gaining power and precision in shots.”
LoBreglio, who made eight saves, wasn’t able to stop that shot.
“What I saw was a couple guys missed clearances and it just fell our direction,” Waunakee coach Dave Kettner said. “Oftentimes, it doesn’t seem to fall in our direction and this time it did work out.”
It was Jakel’s fourth goal this season for Waunakee (7-1-1), and he said likely his biggest in high school.
“As a sophomore, he’s stepped up big for us,” Kettner said. “He’s started a number of games and we switch him out with some of the older guys, but he’s definitely coming into his own. He certainly will be a big part of the program over the course of the next couple years.”
Oregon (5-4-1) totaled six shots, including only two shots on goal. But the Panthers, led by junior Alex Rodriguez and senior Patrick Brognano, put together some nice possessions at the start of the second half and with about 12 minutes remaining.
“We know we have a good defensive side,” Oregon coach Chris Mitchell said. “We have some potent guys on the attack, too. We just have not been able to hit the net with the ball here so far. The struggle has been kind of real for us.
“We remain hopeful those combinations are going to come. … I’m super, super proud of the fact we started a little flat but really found the flow of the game. We started to get more and more dangerous as the game went on. Unfortunately, we have had this tendency when we have the advantage of play we give up a goal, and that’s like the dagger.”
Waunakee had scored five or more goals in four of its matches. That, despite losing standout junior midfielder Cole Kettner to an ACL injury in his left knee during the first game, said Dave Kettner, Cole’s father.
Senior Mason Lee totaled four goals and five assists in the first eight matches, while seniors Nathan Dresen and Zach Tiemeyer had three goals and two assists apiece. But Dresen wasn’t available Tuesday due to an ankle injury, Dave Kettner said.
“Oregon is tough, Oregon is really tough,” Kettner said. “Chris does a great job. He’s got the kids playing a nice, clean physical game. … So, I knew it would be a close game. Their goalie played fantastic, in my opinion. He had some really nice saves that really kept them in the game.”
Waunakee had 12 shots, including nine on goal.