If facing the defending state champions was not enough of a challenge, the Ripon High School boys’ soccer team found out before last week Thursday’s game that it would be without its leading scorer.

With Ben Pulvermacher, who injured his knee a few days earlier against Freedom, unavailable to play, the Tigers fell to Xavier 3-0 in Appleton.

The loss eliminated them from the postseason tournament and ended the careers of six players.

It also concluded a historic season in which the team posted a school-record 13 wins and claimed its second-ever postseason win.

“Heading into the game, we knew the history of the program; we knew they were a very strong program and just won state last year,” Ripon head coach Kyle Sackett said of Xavier. “Coach [Aaron] Erickson and I developed a game plan; it was a heavy defensive game-plan, and that showed because we kept them in check for most of the game. Obviously, losing Pulvermacher before the game took away our biggest scoring threat this season, so that hurt.

“We really did not change our game plan based off of that. We were hoping to play a strong defensive game like we have all season and just hoped for a couple chances against Xavier.”

Read the full story, which includes information on the six seniors whose careers came to an end, in the Oct. 24, 2013 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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