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Old Abes carry big momentum into state semifinal against Rockets

Eau Claire (WQOW) — For the first time since 2017, the Eau Claire Memorial boys soccer team is playing in the state tournament. The Old Abes are one of four teams left standing in division one, after beating Appleton North in the sectional final.

Memorial is 19-1-3 overall this season, and have won 13 games in a row. The Old Abes are playing their best soccer of 2019, and they think a big part of their success is their tough schedule that prepared them for the postseason.

“We’ve been traveling all over the state, even to Minnesota playing good teams,” says senior goalkeeper Scott Knowlton. We’ve been trying to get ready for some great competition, and I think that we’re ready.”

“It’s a great feeling. From the start of the season we were just a great team, and we put in all the work we could all the time in the weight room, senior forward Jacob Peloquin says. “And then just on the field, enjoying every moment and every second.”

The Old Abes are the two-seed for division one, and will match-up with Neenah in the semifinal Friday night. The Rockets also have just one loss on the season, and have one of the top goal scorers in the state. As senior forward Thomas Priest has found the back of the net 26 times this season, but Memorial is still focused on themselves and staying in the moment.

“We’ve been taking it one game at a time,” Knowlton says. “Just second by second, minute by minute, and focusing on the present.”

“They’re going to be similar to us. They’re going to be technical, they’re going to be physical, they’re going to be strong, and they’re going to be driven. They’re senior loaded, and they’ve got some weapons,” says head coach David Kite. “It’s the final four, and they’re all good teams at this stage. So it’s showing up and executing again, which is what we’ve been doing during the playoffs. And we hope to do it on Friday as well.”

Kick-off is 7 p.m. Friday night at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.

Collin Talbert

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