The Eau Claire Memorial boys soccer team advanced to Saturday's WIAA Division 1 sectional final with a thrilling 3-2 victory over intra-city rival Eau Claire North Thursday evening. The Old Abes scored in the opening minute of the game, junior Scott Nicolai with a goal 35 seconds in to give Memorial a 1-nothing lead. But North would rally to tie the game off of a free kick from Dalton Hoepner, teammate Daclyn Hazelton poked it home to even the score at 1.
The two teams would score again before the end of the half, Memorial took a short-lived 2-1 lead on a goal from Adam Nijhawan, a header off of a perfect centering pass from Nicolai, but the Huskies had the answer with a Hoepner goal off of the long-range free kick. It was a 2-2 game at the half.
Stayed that way until the 63rd minute of the second half, the Old Abes' Mandela Cronk on the attack, he would send the ball past North goalie Josh Weix, open net for Nicolai and he would bury it for what proves to be the game-winning goal as Eau Claire Memorial survives and advances, 3-2 over North.
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