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
STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients. Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.
Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015. He then moved to Connecticut.
At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments. Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.
SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.
Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.
Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.
Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.
People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.
"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.
"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.
But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.
"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.
Those accusations baffle Thomas.
"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.
Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.
"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.
Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.
"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.
Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.
"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.
Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.
The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.
Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.
MADISON - A suspended University of Wisconsin-Madison student accused of sexually assaulting and harassing nearly a dozen women has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.
Twenty-year-old Alec Cook faces a total of 21 counts, including strangulation, sexual assault, stalking and false imprisonment involving 10 women dating back to March 2015. Five of the charges are misdemeanors. The rest are felonies.
ONEIDA COUNTY - Once landfills run out of space, the county must decide where the garbage will go. At a meeting on Monday, it was announced that the Vilas County landfill has about 10 years left before it will have to find a new location to dispose of trash. Oneida County had a similar decision to make years ago.Â
Fifteen years ago, the Oneida County landfill was capped.Â
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