MINOCQUA - For the second straight season, the Rhinelander High School girls soccer team crowned themselves atop the Great Northern Conference.
The Hodags downed Lakeland 2-0 in sloppy conditions Tuesday night to clinch at least a share of the conference title.
"When we look at a 2-0 win, at least a share of the conference championship, it's a great night for us," said Hodags coach Dan Millot.
Pounding rains left the field in a messy condition for kickoff. Standing water, in some cases several inches deep on the field, made for a night of creative play.
"On a night like tonight, the ball is slippery, you're playing under the lights, they even had one bank of lights out we were playing out of the shadows. Backyard soccer," Millot laughed.
Rhinelander scored both of its goals in the first half, and was never seriously at risk of giving up a tally to the Thunderbirds.
Gabbe Millot found a seam in the seventh minute and put a shot past charging Lakeland goalie Natalie Jonas for the first score.
"We were fortunate for Gabbe to get that goal in early and pressure them. I think they were a little bit surprised, going down 1-0 early in the game after playing so many opponents extremely tough," Millot said.
The Thunderbirds had not allowed a goal in GNC play since a May 7 loss at Northland Pines.
In the 32nd minute, Claire Tracy arched a free kick from about 30 yards to the perfect spot to put the Hodags up two goals.
"It was (placed perfectly). She's got the leg to get it there. We've got a few girls on this team, if you give them the green light to shoot from distance, to put the ball on net, (good things happen)," Millot said.
A stingy Rhinelander defense kept up their solid play Tuesday night.
In five GNC games, they have yet to allow a goal.
Morgan Voigt had eight saves in goal for the Hodags, none of which required extraordinary play. Credit for that goes to the Rhinelander defense in front of her.
"We've done a fantastic job all season of keeping people off of her," Millot said. "To have zero goals allowed in conference, that's awesome. That's awesome. Hopefully we can continue that this Thursday against Medford."
That game against the Raiders could secure an outright conference championship for Rhinelander with a win or tie.
"Medford brings a lot of tenacity to the game. They only have one loss for the conference season. That was against Lakeland. We had a nice showing against them early in the season, but you have to throw everything out the window," said Millot, referring to a 4-0 Hodag win over the Raiders in what was counted as a non-conference game.
Medford certainly still has something to play for. A Raider win would secure a tie with Rhinelander for the GNC title. But Millot reminded his players they're going for two in a row.
"We are the defending conference champions. We are conference champions until someone knocks us off. (Our team) is really going to have to earn that."
Rhinelander at Lakeland Tuesday, May 21 Rhinelander 2 0 2 Lakeland 0 0 0 First Half: 1, R, Gabbe Millot, 6:58. 2, R, Claire Tracy, 31:15. Team Stats R L Shots 10 12 Shots on Goal 8 8 Corner Kicks 4 3
RHINELANDER - Thursday Rhinelander turned into the city of lights. The Light of the Northwoods kicked off its drive-through light show at Hodag Park today. "We never got to do anything like this when I was a kid," said volunteer Corey Passmore. However, Passmore's son will get the chance to experience a Christmas in a way his father was never able to. "As far as I can think back we've never had anything like this in Rhinelander," said Passmore. Months of preparation, hundreds of hours setting up, and more than a dozen creative minds helped create magic in Rhinelander. "Symbolizes an opportunity for community to come together," said YMCA of the Northwoods CEO Ryan Zietlow.
RHINELANDER - It costs nearly $240,000 to run Rhinelander's homeless shelter every year.
Frederick Place got an extra boost this month to help cover those costs with two grants totaling $8,000.
"With our just shy of $240,000 annual operating budget, we typically only get $40,000 from the state and federal government. So we are raising that $200,000 every single year," said NATH Executive Director Tammy Modic.
RHINELANDER - The initial emergency call -- someone screaming for help on a lake near Rhinelander Thursday afternoon -- sounded bad, but it appears it was a false alarm.
Search and rescue crews called in Newbold's air boat to search Lake Thompson around 1:45 p.m.
Pelican Deputy Fire Chief Norman Peterson said first responders first searched the west bay shoreline on foot. They then used the air boat to sweep the entire lake, but didn't find anyone, any tracks, or any places someone might have gone through the ice.
IRMA - Until Thursday, we never got an inside look at Lincoln Hills School and Youth Prison. We have heard from Lincoln Hills line staff and the Department of Corrections, but never were able to see the facility.
Thursday the DOC held a guided media tour of the school and living units. Newswatch12's Rose McBride has been following the stories that come out of Lincoln Hills for months now, and she went on that media tour.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.