Whippet Roberto Navejas scored the first goal for Whitewater in the team’s upset of West Salem in the WIAA Division 3 Regional Semifinals. He is shown here during an Oct. 21 match against Evansville. (Peter Mischka photo)


By Troy Sparks


The Whitewater boys soccer team overcame a several-hour trip to West Salem as the No. 11 seed to upset the No. 6 seed, and shut it in the WIAA Division 3 Regional Semifinals.

“We were worried that the long trip affected our play,” Whitewater coach John Chenoweth said following the trip to the community just outside of La Crosse. “The boys came out strong at the start of the game. We controlled the opening moments with strong possession and quite a few shots on goals.”

About 10 minutes into the first half during the Oct. 19 match, senior Roberto Navejas controlled a high kick in the air and moved past a West Salem defender before putting the ball in the back of the net for a 1-0 Whitewater lead. The Whippets led by that score at the half.

“We knew we had played better halves before and we hoped to up our game in the second half,” John Chenoweth said. “But we also knew from experience that in tight games, one mistake can mean the game.”

The Whippets passed better in the second half and both teams pressed hard to get a goal. The keepers from both teams didn’t allow anything to get past them most of the second half.

With five minutes to go in the game, senior Dalton Chenoweth whipped the ball in from a corner kick and sophomore midfielder Christian Reyes headed it home for the second goal.

It was more than enough as the Whippets won 2-0.


Tough competition

Whitewater had a tougher task in front of them in the regional final at No. 3 Evansville. This was the second game against their Rock Valley Conference opponent this season. They fell 3-2 in their previous meeting but this time the season was on the line.

“Both teams came ready to play and the fans got to witness some quality play from both sides,” John Chenoweth said. “Neither team could get the upper hand.”

The score at the half was 0-0.

About 12 minutes into the second half, the Blue Devils broke the scoreless match open with a free kick outside the penalty box and into the net to lead 1-0. A long through ball that resulted in another goal made it 2-0 and a goal from a corner kick with 10 minutes left made it 3-0 and sealed the deal for Evansville and ended Whitewater’s season.

“While every loss is disappointing, the coaches were very pleased with the effort, energy and team play,” John Chenoweth said. “We definitely appreciated seeing the large turnout of fans at the game.”

John Chenoweth thanked seniors Canyon Caputo, Dalton Chenoweth, Tommy Cushman, James Dedrick, Zach Gross, Romeo Manriquez, Roberto Navejas, Alex Valdez, Alex Vidales and Johaly Xochipa, and all the supporters for the success this season.


Whitewater at West Salem, WIAA Division 3 Regional Semifinals, Oct. 19


Whitewater 2, West Salem 0


Whitewater     1   1 – 2

West Salem     0   0 – 0


Whitewater at Evansville, WIAA Division 3 Regional Finals, Oct. 21


Evansville 3, Whitewater 0


Whitewater   0   0 – 0

Evansville       0   3 – 3


2016 Record: 9-12-2 overall, 2-5-1 Rock Valley Conference



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