Luke Umnus is hugged and congratulated by his teammates on Elkhorn Area High School boys soccer team after learning he earned Southern Lakes Conference Player of the Year honors. He was presented the award during the team’s annual banquet Nov. 8 at the Monte Carlo Room. (Submitted photo)

Luke Umnus named conference soccer player of the year

By Chris Bennett

Correspondent

The balls are put away and the nets taken down and waiting for next season, but Luke Umnus of the Elkhorn Area High School boys soccer team has an award from this past season that will be his forever.

He was named the 2018 Southern Lakes Conference boys soccer Player of the Year for his play this past season.

Umnus, a forward, scored 21 goals and finished with eight assists.

The goal that sticks out the most for him came against Delavan-Darien Oct. 9 in the title game of the Southern Lakes Conference tournament at Elkhorn High School.

“I chipped it at the goalie from about 30 yards out,” he said. “He was kind of coming out for the ball. I just kicked it high and it fell right in.”

Umnus said he didn’t give much thought to being the SLC’s Player of the Year until the end of the season – after the Elks completed an undefeated season in conference play and put together a solid year.

“Every single day was a blast,” he said. “Going back to back and winning conference again was fun.”

Elkhorn repeated as SLC champs this season. The Elks won the regular season and tournament titles.

The Elks eyed their second trip to state in three years this past season, but fell one match short. Elkhorn lost 1-1 (5-4) in a shootout in a WIAA Division 2 sectional final match Oct. 27 at home against Oregon.

“That was one was tough,” Umnus said. “Especially since it was in penalty kicks. We worked all year for that, and just to fall in a shootout – that was heartbreaking.”

He said the Elks knew that if they got past Oregon that Elkhorn would be the team to beat at the Division 2 state tournament.

“We knew that if we got by Oregon, Oregon would have been the best team we would have faced, and I think Oregon felt the same way about us,” Umnus said. “I wasn’t shocked to see them breeze through the state tournament the way they did.”

Oregon scored six goals in two matches at state and beat New Berlin Eisenhower 3-2 for the Division 2 state title.

Umnus played all four years on varsity at Elkhorn, and is appreciative of the success he enjoyed.

“Getting brought up my freshman year, to the varsity, I was kind of surprised,” he said. “But in the four years, all the success we had, it was unbelievable.”

Umnus, Adam Reigle and Caden Reece earned First Team All-SLC honors.

Devon Davey, Mike Spreitzer, Luke Schoeneberg and Alex Hergott earned Second Team All-SLC honors and Alec Birbaum and Vince Umnus earned Honorable Mention All-SLC honors.

Luke Umnus also earned the Elks’ Offensive Player of the Year award. Davey earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Birbaum earned the nod as Most Improved and Reigle was named the Elks’ Most Valuable Player.

See more Elks sports in the Dec. 13 Independent.

 
 

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