The Sturgeon Bay boys soccer team will be looking for its eighth state tournament appearance when it opens the Division 4 playoffs at home Thursday.
Sturgeon Bay, 16-4-1, will play the winner of No. 15 seed Howard’s Grove and No. 18 Kewaunee at 7 p.m. The Clippers are the No. 2 seed behind top-seeded Oostburg (18-0-1). On the other side of the bracket, No. 13 Gibraltar-Sevastopol travels to No. 4 Kohler for a 7 p.m. match.
Sturgeon Bay qualified for the state tournament last season and lost 4-1 to eventual state champions University School of Milwaukee in the semifinals. The Clippers were champions in 2015 and runners up in 2017.
“This year we are more consistent throughout the season while still playing the same quality opponents,” said Clippers’ coach Todd Maas, who picked up his 200th coaching victory this season. “Last year we struggled a bit during regular season play, but we peaked at the perfect time and played with a ton of heart to get a look back at the state venue. So we are hoping to play some quality soccer this year again, get things moving and make another push.”
Gibraltar-Sevastopol is coming off of a nice finish to the season to take on Kohler. The Vikings broke Sturgeon Bay’s 29-game Packerland Conference winning streak with a 1-0 win on October 14. The Vikings defeated Green Bay NEW Lutheran and Stockbridge to finish the season 7-2-6 overall and 5-1-3 in the Packerland Conference standings.
“[Our finish] shows us that we’re perfectly capable of performing under pressure and play our game,” senior goalkeeper Hayden Hoffman said. “We’re going to take that mindset into the playoffs and play our hardest.”