Rejuvenated second half carries Grafton soccer team to top honors at home invite
The Grafton boys’ soccer team worked overtime — and then some — to secure bragging rights at their own Black Hawk Invitational tournament last Saturday.
After rallying for a 1-1 deadlock in regulation against Fond du Lac, the Hawks endured 20 minutes of overtime before winning a 6-5 shootout to take the title.
“It was a real battle,” Grafton coach Don Arnold said.
“The first 50 minutes, I thought we were sleepwalking, not connecting on a lot of passes. But in the last 20 to 30 minutes of regulation and the overtime, we put a lot of pressure on them.”
Fond du Lac took a 1-0 lead early in the second half and remained in front until the 70th minute, when junior Bensa Jasz pulled the Hawks even with a goal.
After both teams failed to find the net in overtime, the game moved to penalty kicks.
Alex Lorbecki provided the winning shot in sudden death after each team converted five consecutive attempts in the opening round.
Ryan Kearns, Wolfgang Pilarski, Michael Salm, Alex Konop and Nick Markworth each scored for Grafton in the first round.
“The guys were excited. It was good to see them get a reward for their hard work,” said Arnold, whose team duplicated a shootout win over Fond du Lac in the final of last year’s Black Hawk Invitational.
The title game, which counts as a regular-season tie, left Grafton with a 5-6-5 overall record.
In Friday’s semifinals of the four-team tournament, Grafton blanked Luxemburg-Casco, 5-0, and Fond du Lac defeated Kenosha St. Joseph, 6-1.
The Hawks did all their scoring in the second half. After C.J. Koehler, Jacob Kellett and Alex Lorbecki each scored, Martine Olavarrieta added two goals in the 79th minute.
Kearns was credited with two assists, and Lorbecki, Kevin Wegner and Nick Bocanegra had one apiece.
Grafton 4, Milwaukee Lutheran 0
The Hawks exploded for four second-half goals in a North Shore Conference road win Sept. 23.
With the wind at its back, Grafton got goals from Wegner, Salm, Jacob Wilde and Olavarrieta in the 57th through 66th minutes.
“We had some chances in the first half, but it was tough going against the wind,” Arnold said. “After that, we really stayed on the attack.”
The Hawks, who improved to 3-2 in NSC play, had a 22-2 edge in shots.
This week, Grafton faced Germantown in a North Shore game Tuesday and will play a 4:30 p.m. match Thursday against visiting Milwaukee King and a 7 p.m. homecoming game Friday against Franklin.
On Oct. 5, the Hawks will conclude the NSC schedule by hosting Port Washington at 7 p.m.
University School 3, Port Washington 2
The host Pirates failed to protect a first-half lead in a nonconference loss last Saturday.
Port held a 2-0 edge after Danny Karrels scored in the third minute, assisted by D.J. Soya, and Marcus Lackovic scored off a steal in the 34th minute.
However, University School became the aggressor in the second period, countering with goals in the 60th and 68th minutes and adding the winner in the 77th minute.
“We played very well in the first half, but after that we played too soft,” Port coach Mike Bultman said. “It was like we felt we just had to defend them rather than be aggressive offensively.”
Port was also hurt by the loss of Karrels, a standout senior forward, who sat out much of the game with a pulled muscle.
The loss dropped the Pirates to 5-9 overall.
Cedarburg 8, Port Washington 1
It was all Bulldogs in a lopsided North Shore Conference road loss for Port on Sept. 21.
Taking control from the start, Cedarburg scored four unanswered goals before Karrels found the net in the 40th minute to make it 4-1 at halftime.
The Bulldogs pulled away with two goals in the first three minutes of the second period. They finished with a 27-3 edge in shots.
“Cedarburg has a very good team and just outplayed us,” Bultman said. “We didn’t stay with our marks and couldn’t match up with them.”
Port fell to 1-4 in conference play.
This week, the Pirates played Homestead on Tuesday and will host Brown Deer in a 7 p.m. homecoming game Thursday.
On Saturday, Port will participate in the eight-team Rocket Invitational hosted by Cedar Grove-Belgium.
PORT WASHINGTON’S Marcus Lackovic shielded a University School player from the ball during their teams’ nonconference match Saturday. Photo by Sam Arendt