Pulaski boys soccer team continues strong start to season

Red Raiders cruise past West De Pere
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

The Pulaski High School boys soccer team plays a tough nonconference schedule to prepare itself for the even tougher Fox River Classic Conference and hopefully a deep postseason run at the end of the season.

Despite the tough schedule, the Red Raiders have gotten off to a strong start. The impressive start to the fall season continued when Pulaski eased past West De Pere 5-0 on Sept. 1 in Pulaski.

The Red Raiders and Phantoms traded scoring opportunities in the early going, with each team’s defense fending off any goals.

Pulaski finally got on the scoreboard in the 30th minute when Hudson Schultz scored an unassisted goal.

“I kept on working through the defense. I passed it to my teammate and it happened to come back to me and I just took a shot and it went in,” said Schultz of the score.

After a couple more near misses for Pulaski, Schultz scored again just over three minutes later to make it a quick 2-0 lead for the hosts.

Less than three minutes later, Pulaski scored again. This time, it was Austin Decker that scored.

“It first started with our defense winning the ball from one of their through balls. We passed and moved up until the half-field line and then we put it in and then Ryan (Drafz), our left forward, went in for the jump to go and score and he took out the goalie. The ball just happened to roll right out in front of me and I put it away with my left foot,” said Decker of the goal.

Decker said looking for a potential follow-up shot on that kind of scenario is something the team has talked about and practiced.

“If I wouldn’t have went to that ball, this game could have shifted a whole different way,” said Decker.

The goal appeared to take away some of West De Pere’s fight, and Pulaski was able to comfortably coast to victory.

In the second half, Lucas Stubbe scored off a Drafz assist about eight minutes in before Donovan Holderness set up Maddox McKeefry for the final goal in the 75th minute of play.

Pulaski goalie Mason Baker spent the first 71 minutes defending the net and was credited with five saves in the shutout win.

“I have a really good defensive line in front of me. My centre-backs are good, my outside backs are good, they always usually make the right decisions and they’ll clear the ball when needed,” said Baker. “They listen, I listen to them, it’s kind of a mutual thing.”

Gaven Haldemann finished up the match in goal for Pulaski, which moved to 4-1 on the season.

The Red Raiders earned another 5-0 win against Green Bay East earlier in the week and also won 3-1 against Sturgeon Bay and 4-2 against Marshfield already this fall. The lone loss was a 2-1 setback to Hortonville.

The strong start to the season comes a season after the Red Raiders made a run to the sectional finals before a 2-1 loss to River Falls. Pulaski has its eyes set on another successful season, and hopefully making another deep postseason run.

“We’re definitely just trying to be composed as a team, work together, keep building off wins,” said Baker. “We took a loss we probably shouldn’t have early to Hortonville but shook it off and beat East. We’re just going to try and keep building off it, and that starts with tonight too.”

“Mainly, we just focus on what we can achieve and not our mistakes,” said Decker. “We always dwell on the things we do correctly which improves our team. We always give each other motivation so then we can play better as a team.”