After seeing his team score a pair of shutout wins last week, Grafton girlsâ€™ soccer coach Don Arnold didnâ€™t have much to complain about.
But that doesnâ€™t mean the Black Hawks werenâ€™t without flaws, Arnold was quick to note.
â€śWe had two nice wins, but there is a lot of room for improvement,â€ť he said of Graftonâ€™s victories over University School and Kettle Moraine Lutheran.
â€śWe had a ton of scoring opportunities, but we didnâ€™t always make the most of them.â€ť
Last Friday, the Hawks posted a 5-0 nonconference win at University School, raising their season record to 4-1. Despite the lopsided outcome, they didnâ€™t take control until unleashing a four-goal flurry in the second half.
Junior midfielder Tess Safstrom put Grafton up, 1-0, in the 31st minute when she scored with an assist from Zoie Bauer.
In the second period, the Hawks got goals from Maddy Huibregste at 43 minutes, Hannah Eichler at 51 and Carley Pfannerstill at 67 and 72.
Huibregste and Bauer finished with two assists apiece, and Pfannerstill had one.
Grafton got off 39 shots to just five for University School but had trouble finding the net before intermission.
â€śIf you get 20 to 30 shots and score five goals, thatâ€™s OK, but we werenâ€™t finishing, especially in the first half,â€ť Arnold said. â€śWhat was good was that we had a lot of different players scoring, which makes it hard
for teams to defend us.
â€śItâ€™s still early in the season, and weâ€™re going to continue to improve.â€ť
Nicolet 4, Port Washington 0
Grafton 5, Kettle Moraine Lutheran 0
The Hawks built a 3-0 lead before intermission of a nonconference win at Uihlein Field in Milwaukee on April 5.
The game had been scheduled to be held in Grafton but was moved because wet conditions made the field unplayable.
Emma Fatla, a junior midfielder, had two goals in the rout, during which the Hawks outshot Lutheran, 39-2. Also scoring were Alyssa Arnold, Safstrom and Haley Orlowski.
Eichler had two assists, and Alli Demerath, Pfannerstill and Abby Freeland had one piece.
This week, Grafton was scheduled to open North Shore Conference play Tuesday against Homestead, the stateâ€™s top-ranked team, and will host Slinger in a nonconference game Friday. On April 19, the
Hawks will travel to Wauwatosa West for another nonleague contest.
All games start at 7 p.m.
A shaky second half left the host Pirates with a loss in their North Shore Conference opener last Friday.
The teams battled to a 0-0 deadlock for one half, but Nicolet pulled away with goals in the 48th, 52nd, 70th and 76th minutes.
â€śWe played them real tough in the first half and had a lot of intensity and effort,â€ť Port coach Sean Oâ€™Brien said.
â€śEarly in the second half, we had more good scoring chances, but that opened us up for the counterattack. We had a rough five minutes where we gave up two goals.â€ť
Katie McShane had the final two goals for the Knights, who also got scores from Laila Eslami and Emily Spector.
Nicolet outshot the Pirates, 17-4. Goalkeeper Alex Pallo had 13 saves for Port.
Oâ€™Brien praised the play of defender Mallory Mueller, who â€śdid everything she could to keep us in the game.â€ť
The Knights improved to 4-0-0 overall. Port slipped to 2-1-0.
This week, the Pirates continued NSC play against Germantown on Tuesday and will participate in the four-team Shorewood Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
Port will face Shorewood at 7 p.m. Friday. Nicolet and University School will play in the other semifinal game.
On Saturday, the consolation final is at 9:30 a.m., followed by the title game at 11 a.m.