The Tomah High School boys soccer team had given up a whopping 14 goals in its past two Mississippi Valley Conference matches, and the early portion of its Tuesday contest at La Crosse Aquinas looked like more of the same.
That was before the Timberwolves put together a season-changing second half.
Tomah scored five goals in the second half to record a 5-1 victory over the Blugolds at Fields for Kids in La Crosse. It was Tomah’s first win of the season, and it came after 7-1 and 7-0 MVC losses to Holmen and Onalaska.
“Overall it was a great team effort,” Tomah coach Scott Conzemius said.
It looked like the Timberwolves were on their way to another blowout loss after Aquinas scored off a free kick in the ninth minute for a 1-0 lead.
“This game is really a case of a tale of two halves,” Conzemius said. “We came out sloppy for probably the first 20-25 minutes, and another early goal set us back. At half we talked about focus, clean up the passing, keep our shape in the back and to be calm in front of the net.”
It took less than a minute for the halftime message to pay off. Devyn Gebhardt scored off an assist from Roland Hockstedler in the 46th minute to tie the match at 1-1.
Two minutes later, Jayden LeQue scored off a pass from Dylen Pierce to give Tomah its first lead of the season at 2-1.
The onslaught continued in the 54th minute, when Noah Nick scored off a Dawson Klump assist.
“A quick goal to start the half really energized the team,” Conzemius said.
LeQue assisted goals by Gebhardt in the 73rd minute and Tyler Torkelson in the 83rd.
“Jayden Le Que had a phenomenal game and was a big catalyst for the success we experienced,” Conzemius said.
Conzemius said the team also got big contributions from Nick, Gehbhardt and Dawson Lambert, a defender playing his first game of the season.
Tomah goalkeeper Nolan Stees made four saves, and Conzemius said Stees made a pair of big saves that prevented Aquinas from building a larger lead in the first half.
The Timberwolves also won at the junior varsity level, defeating Aquinas 5-0.
Tomah played its first nonconference match of the season Saturday at Marshfield and lost 3-0. Marshfield, which improved to 3-3 with the victory, scored goals in the 12th and 18th minutes to take a 2-0 halftime lead and scored its final goal with 1:39 left in the match. Stees had seven saves.
The Timberwolves’ overall record is 1-6 and 1-5 in the MVC. They host Reedsburg in a nonconference match Friday at 5 p.m. at Veterans Field.