VERONA, Wis. — Beloit Memorial’s boys soccer team shattered the school record for victories Tuesday night and did it in style, defeating Verona for the first time ever.
The 3-1 victory raised the Purple Knights’ season mark to 17-4-1 and allowed them to finish in a tie for fourth in the Big Eight Conference. The Knights were the first team in school history to have a winning conference record at 5-4.
“Beating (Madison) East and La Follette was huge, but today eclipsed that,” head coach Brian Denu said. “We went on the road and took it to one of the big dogs in the conference. I couldn’t be happier for a group of kids than I am for our guys.”
The Knights were bottom feeders in the Big Eight just four years ago and now are a contender in one of the toughest conference’s in Wisconsin.
“I know there are a lot of elementary and middle school kids who can’t wait to be a part of our program,” Denu said.
The Knights and Ricardo Ramos grabbed a 3-0 lead by halftime Tuesday. Three minutes into the game, Ramos took a loose ball just outside the 18-yard box and deposited into an empty net as the goalkeeper came out to try to smother the ball and was tardy getting back on his line.
Ramos scored again less than a minute later as Jose Barron penetrated the ball deep into Wildcat territory and found Julio Martinez on the right flank. Martinez attacked the box and found a wide-open Ramos who calmly beat the keeper.
The Knights kept the pressure on for the next 10 minutes and Ramos made it a hat trick when he found the back of the net at the 11:32 mark. Jose Barron beat a defender and found Ramos positioned all by himself on the left side for a quick shot.
Verona cut it to 3-1 early in the second half, but Beloit goalkeeper Ivan Perez made several crucial saves down the stretch, including one in the final minute.
“Connor Day also was equal to a Verona challenge in the final minute as he got his head to a laser beam of a shot that was headed for goal,” Denu said.
Next up for the Knights is a game in Janesville against Craig on Thursday.
“I think we cemented our spot in the upper echelon of soccer teams in the state,” Denu said. “We plan on staying there for awhile with seven non-seniors starting and our leading scorers largely freshmen and sophomores.”