UNION TWP. | Twice is nice, but three times was better for Lauren Fratzke on Saturday afternoon.
The sophomore forward recorded a hat trick for Wheeler in the sectional title game, leading the way for the Bearcats's 4-0 victory over Bishop Noll. Wheeler will face Boone Grove for in the regional.
“It felt good. We wanted to get out early and score some goals,” Fratzke said. “It’s definitely my job as a forward.”
Fratzke opened the scoring midway through the first half on a free kick from about 40 yards out. She doubled the advantage seven minutes later on an assist into the box by Emma Heinold. Her third goal of the day was Wheeler’s fourth and came with nearly three minutes left in regulation.
“Lauren’s had a lot of big games for us,” Wheeler head coach Bryan Murray said. “What’s great about her is that we’re able to move her and she can flow up top for us of we can move her to the middle of the field. She and Shannon (Eden) late (in the season) really got a good feel for midfield for us and they started to control what we wanted to do.”
Bishop Noll midfielder Julia Kusiak was taken down in the area late in the first half and had a chance to score, but her penalty kick flew high.
“The way our defense has played, you feel pretty good about it,” Murray said. “We had gotten a little sloppy defensively and luckily they missed that PK or it could have been different going into halftime. We’ve done a pretty good job of keeping people out of the net, so with a 2-0 lead we felt pretty good about it.”
In the second half, the Noll defense kept Wheeler off the board until the 39th minute when Terra Philips scored on Heinold’s second assist of the match. Fratzke put the game away late when her corner kick bounced off Warriors' keeper Kirsten Markusic and into the goal.
Markusic made seven saves for Bishop Noll. Kadie Spoor made two saves for Wheeler, both in the first half.