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Boats Drop UPSL Home Opener to Manitou FC

May 19 was Youth Day, and the kids showed up in force... photo by Christina Gordon

The second UPSL game of the season—and the first at Regis High School—didn’t quite go to plan for Bateaux FC. A 3-2 loss to the visiting Manitou FC left the hosts frustrated after what was a hotly contested match, and while the scoreline didn’t favor them in the end, the Boats had more than a few moments to be proud of. 

The first half-hour of the match was all about settling in, unlike the midweek Wisconsin Cup matchup against the Conquerors. Both teams went about testing each other, assessing strengths and weaknesses as they tried to figure out how to best implement their respective game plans. 

Your Boats looked the more menacing of the two during this bedding-in period, producing a handful of opportunities they’ll feel unlucky not to have cashed in on. AJ Mittelsteadt’s instincts nearly paid off in just the 7th minute, when the in-form striker picked the pocket of a Manitou center back to put himself in on goal. His subsequent shot went just wide, but the jolt of the chance changed the pace of the game. 

Almost immediately afterward, a turnover in the midfield put the hosts back on the offensive. A perfect ball across the six found Mittelsteadt’s feet, but his shot clanged across the crossbar in a stroke of bad luck. Still, the Guys in Green kept pushing for the breakthrough. 

Organized and resilient defending from the visitors kept them from going down early, and though they’d been up against it for much of the first half, they got on the board first in the 30th minute. After a classic Jake Sampson long throw nearly led to a goal for the hosts, a clinical counter from Manitou’s number 10 turned the game on its head, very much against the run of play. 

But moments shift momentum, and that’s exactly what the visitors needed. Let’s just say that the rest of the half was exciting. 

The hosts kept the pressure up, determined not to let the deficit get in their heads. Lukas Olson tidied up a shot that went bar-down, tapping it in and hitting the net to level the score once more. And if two goals in five minutes weren’t enough for you, don’t worry; there’s more. 

Bateaux FC's Lukas Olson celebrates his equalizer... photo by Christina Gordon

After a nice run down the right side of the field, Manitou’s right winger found himself with a narrow angle, but an angle nonetheless. His first shot was saved, but the second effort proved too much to handle. Always follow your shot, kids; you never know when it might regain you a lead after just three minutes. 

After going into the half down 2-1, the Boats were likely feeling a bit hard done by. Several golden opportunities went begging, and though the opposition was clearly talented, their chances were largely smash and grab, not a result of breaking down the Bateaux backline. 

An equalizer in the 75th minute boosted the mood and fueled the hope for a comeback. With everything to play for, it was ultimately the final 15 minutes that would determine the fate of these two well-matched teams. 

Unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending. Despite an admirable push from the boys, Manitou’s number 10 won the game for the visitors with an audacious chip over the home keeper. A late barrage from the hosts nearly saw a third equalizer creep in, but it wasn’t meant to be in the end, as the post once again denied your beloved Boats a precious point.

Some days are just like that, I suppose. Soccer can be a cruel game, but that’s what makes it so sweet when it goes our way. Bateaux will be back in UPSL action on Wednesday, May 29, when they take on Dakota SC back at Regis High School. Come on out, and COME ON YOU BOATS!


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