Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 08 September 2010 17:58
Low-scoring tie leaves Grafton soccer team on prowl for win-sealing plays
The line between victory and defeat can often be frustratingly thin on the soccer field.
Just ask coach Don Arnold and his Grafton High School boys’ team.
“We have a 1-3-3 season record, and we probably should have at least five wins,” Arnold said Monday after seeing his squad settle for a loss and a tie in a pair of games last week.
“We just have to keep working hard and improving, especially on offense.”
Failure to finish scoring chances was the Black Hawks’ biggest enemy in a North Shore Conference loss to Cedarburg on Aug. 31 and a 1-1 tie with University School last Friday. In between,
Grafton had a nonconference game at West Bend East on Sept. 2 wiped out by inclement weather.
Against University School, the host Hawks had to rally to secure a draw despite holding a 25-6 advantage in shots through 80 minutes of regulation play and two 10-minute overtimes.
The Wildcats drew first blood when they scored in the 11th minute on a wind-aided attack. Freshman goalkeeper Killian Mielotz stopped a shot, but when he was unable to control the ball,
Josh Baker’s follow-up found the net.
After facing a 1-0 deficit at halftime, Grafton drew even in the 55th minute with the wind at its back. Willie McElligott scored off an assist from Wolfgang Pilarski to tie the game and give their team momentum, but the Hawks couldn’t cash in again.
“With that kind of advantage in shots, we should have been able to get at least one more goal,” Arnold said.
“It’s not like we didn’t have opportunities, but we just weren’t finishing.”
Cedarburg 4, Grafton 3 (OT)
The host Hawks held a 3-1 lead midway through the second half but faltered the rest of the way in a loss that left them 1-1 in NSC play.
Bobby Helf scored his second goal of the game at 83:20 to give the Bulldogs a sudden-death victory.
The teams exchanged goals in the first period, with Ryan Kearns’ score in the sixth minute for the Hawks matched by Parker Hewes’ goal at 26 minutes.
Grafton took control in the second half on goals by McElligott (assisted by Kearns) and Alex Lorbecki in the 44th and 53rd minute, respectively. However, Cedarburg fought back with scores by Helf and Kyle Crain, the latter tying the game at 3-3 at 56:31.
“It was a back-and-forth battle,” Arnold said. “We came out strong in the second half and got that lead, but then we stopped attacking, and Cedarburg came back.
“It was tough to lose this one, but it was one of the best high-school games I’ve been involved with in a long time.”
Each of the Hawks’ three losses this season has been by one goal.
Grafton and West Bend East got 20 minutes of scoreless play in before their game was suspended due to stormy conditions. It was not known early this week if the match will be rescheduled.
This week, the Hawks were scheduled to face Nicolet in a conference game Tuesday and play a 7 p.m. nonconference game at West Bend West on Thursday.
Nicolet 1, Port Washington 0
Failure to convert scoring chances left the host Pirates with a frustrating loss in North Shore Conference play Aug. 31.
Although Port outshot the Knights, especially in the opening 10 minutes, it had to settle for a scoreless first half. Nicolet found the net in the 52nd minute and held on the rest of the way.
“I don’t know how we lost that game,” said Port coach Mike Bultman, whose team fell to 0-2 in league play and 1-4 overall with its fourth straight defeat. “One or two of our guys should have
scored a goal against that team.”
Nicolet got its goal when the Pirates’ midfield was caught out of position, Bultman said.
“Even after that, we still had plenty of chances to score,” he added. “We had a ton of possession, but we kept trying to cram the ball into the middle of the field instead of getting it out wide.”
This week, the Pirates were scheduled to play Whitefish Bay on Tuesday and host a quadrangular tournament Friday and Saturday at Flack Field.
In Friday’s semifinals, Port will face Luxemburg-Casco at 5 p.m., followed by Madison Edgewood against Platteville. On Saturday, the losers will meet for the consolation final at 9:30 a.m., with the championship game at 11:30 a.m.
GRAFTON MIDFIELDER Nick Bocanegra jostled with a University School player during a nonconference soccer game last Friday. The teams battled to a 1-1 tie. Photo by Sam Arendt