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Shootout at sundown
Monroe senior Andrew Aurit dribbles past a Cambridge-Deerfield defender in the first half of Monroes shootout win in a WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal at Honey Creek Park Tuesday.
MONROE - Monroe senior Michael Gross ran down the soccer field and was mobbed by teammates after scoring the clinching goal to lift the Cheesemakers to a thrilling comeback 4-2 shootout win over Cambridge-Deerfield in the WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal, Tuesday.

"I asked the ref, 'When I score do we win?'" Gross said as the sun was setting. "He said, 'if you score.' I was confident I would score."

Monroe (14-6) came back from a 3-1 deficit Tuesday at Honey Creek Park with a spark from Esteban Guerrero, who scored two second-half goals.

Guerrero scored his first goal on an assist from senior Andrew Aurit at 60 minutes, 56 seconds. He added his second goal less than three minutes later.

"That was great for him to get in there and get some touches," Monroe coach Tony Stamm said. "He gave everyone a spark. That's what we needed. We needed that goal to get the guys excited."

After 100 minutes of soccer and the game tied at 3, a shootout was in store. Monroe received shootout goals from senior Jon Elmer, senior defender Patrick Gellings, junior Kelli Isaj and Gross.

Monroe senior goalkeeper Jordan Steurer, who had 16 saves, helped the Cheesemakers dodge a bullet in the shootout by making a diving save on Cambridge-Deerfield senior Sean O'Connor's kick to preserve a 2-1 edge in the shootout.

"Jordan Steurer did a good job with that one," Stamm said. "That (Gross' goal) helped sealed the win for us. Our guys had so much pressure on them and they kept putting the ball low and in the corner."

Steurer was called twice for breaking the keeper's line before Cambridge-Deerfield players touched the ball in the shootout and officials awarded the Blue Jays two additional kicks, but one was hammered off the post. The Blue Jays also had a kick go wide right in the shootout.

"I was so nervous the first one scored," Steurer said. "Then they came back and missed and I got my hopes up. On a PK you have to look at which way their body is moving. You have to watch their eyes and see which way they will go. Our shooters just came in and dominated. It's a great feeling."

In the first half a goal by Aurit was wiped out due to an offsides penalty, and the Cheesemakers knocked in a goal for the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays had three shots on goal in the first three minutes and broke through when senior Anthony Tubbs scored at 5:56.

Gross answered by booming a high indirect kick that went off the Cambridge-Deerfield goalkeeper Zach Smith's finger tips to tie the game at 1 at 19:43.

Cambridge-Deerfield junior Austin Haag scored a header goal just over Steurer to give the Blue Jays a 3-1 first half lead. The Cheesemakers escaped a second-half scare when the Blue Jays scored what appeared to be their fourth goal, but it was negated due to an offsides penalty.

"We were not expecting so much speed from them," Stamm said. "We had to play guys tight instead of spaced out."

The Cheesemakers had some golden scoring opportunities at the start of the overtime when Aurit drove down the field and dished a pass to senior Lucas Goetz, who just missed scoring on a header. Isaj also had several opportunities in the box, but the Blue Jays turned the Cheesemakers away.

Monroe will play No. 2 seed McFarland in Madison Thursday.

"We had to come out in the second half and have some desire to win," Stamm said. "It's our first playoff win and we took it right down to the end."