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"Legends": Kiel girls soccer team reflects on winning first state title in school history

"Legends": Kiel girls soccer team reflects on winning first state title in school history
Posted at 5:22 PM, Jun 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-20 18:22:46-04

KIEL — The Kiel Raiders girls soccer team took home the Division 4 State title with a thrilling 6-5 win over Cedar Grove-Belgium last weekend. It was not only the first title in program history, but in the history of Kiel High School.

There’s only one word to describe the Kiel Raiders soccer team after taking home the gold ball.

“As coach Pritchard would say, legends,” said Kiel senior Taylor Schad.

“Everytime when they walk into the school, they’re legends,” head coach Mike Pritchard said. “No one can take that away from them and it’s just a very cool feeling to get the gold ball in this wonderful community.”

A little over two years ago Pritchard noticed something was missing from Kiel High School.

“I double checked all WIAA records just to make sure that i didn’t miss anything and I couldn’t believe Kiel didn’t win a gold ball for 95 years and I decided to make that a goal,” he said. “I knew that we had the talent. I knew that we had the skill-set.”

So the head coach decided to have a little chat with his team..

“My sophomore year he brought us in the gym and pointed at all of the banners and was like no one’s ever won one – you guys are going to be the first to win one,” Schad said. “We all laughed at him actually, none of us thought that he was right and he turned out to be right. After the game just seeing him smile was funny, he was really happy with the win.”

Last year the Raiders were knocked out in the state semifinal round. They had the best goal scorer in the state, Schad, who set the single season record for goals in a season, but the team knew heading into 2023. They needed goals from more than just her.

“We had so many goals scored (this year) overall and from multiple other players and I think that that showed in the state championship match, I mean we just had a freshman score our last two goals to help us win,” said Schad.

Schad, a Marquette commit, was the glue of the program.. Described by her head coach as someone who will be a great head coach someday. 

“She’s a leader of all,” Pritchard said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the worst player, the average player, she pulls us all together and keeps us all unified and that’s the beauty of a great player.”

Schad admitted that girls soccer usually isn’t number one for sports, but after they brought home the gold ball, it was for one day as the town of Kiel came out to welcome the team back home.

“It was so late. None of us thought that anybody was going to be there and then when we drove into town there were hundreds of people on the sidewalks, there were a bunch of people in the building, there was a bunch of people on the field. It was insane that people actually came,” she said.