MADISON (WKOW) -- For the first time in 12 seasons, the Belleville/New Glarus (Sugar River) girls soccer team will make the trip to the Division-3 state tournament. The Raiders will face Seymour on Thursday at 5 pm in Milwaukee. Sugar River sealed the trip Saturday after beating West Salem 2-0 in the sectional final. In most sports, both Belleville and New Glarus are Capitol Conference rivals, but in this week both communities will come together as one to support their Raiders.
"This is where some of my best friends come from and it creates great bonds. We love everyone, we're all a big family and coming together both communities is something really cool we get to experience," Sugar River Midfielder Taylor Legler said.
"To play against each other in basketball and then these same girls are playing on the same team it's just a really fun opportunity for all of the communities to come together and have a moment where we can cheer for the same team," Sugar River head coach John Ziperski said.
The Raiders will entering the state tournament short-handed. Five players, including Kalin O'Rourke who scored in the sectional final, will be on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic volunteering at an orphanage for the next two weeks. This was a trip planned months in advance by the Spanish program at Belleville High School.
"I never thought this would actually happen. It's like a dream come true. I'm just so happy. I definitely will be on my cell phone, people better give me updates," O'Rourke said.
"We haven't won with any superstars this year in any game so to lose a couple players, key players for sure, hurts, but I think the mentality is in tact where the next girl will step in," Ziperski said.