NSC conditioning helps Port soccer team post two shutouts on way to sectional
Tough training in the North Shore Conference is paying postseason dividends for the Port Washington girls’ soccer team.
After going winless in one of the state’s best leagues during the regular season, the Pirates parlayed their conditioning into a WIAA
Division 2 regional title last week.
Coach Sean O’Brien’s squad opened postseason play with a pair of shutout victories, including a 1-0 heart-stopper against Milwaukee
Lutheran in Saturday’s championship game at Shorewood.
The teams appeared headed for overtime after battling through nearly 80 minutes of scoreless regulation.
But in the 79th minute, Bre McDonald ended the suspense when she blasted a 25-yard shot past the Lutheran keeper and into the net.
Fellow senior Jessica Donoian set up the goal when she dribbled to the top of the box and dropped the ball back to her teammate.
“It was a great goal,” O’Brien said. “Both teams were battling, and it looked like we were going to go to overtime, but the girls found a
way to pull it out.”
In addition to advancing the Pirates into a sectional semifinal game this week against Shorewood, the win avenged a 1-0 loss to
Lutheran in NSC play May 3.
“It was a little revenge, a little redemption,” O’Brien said. “We thought we matched up well with them and had a great chance to win.”
Until McDonald’s clutch score, neither team was able to take control offensively. Port’s other serious scoring threat came in the second
half when Kim Rashid sent a free kick over the crossbar.
The few other on-goal shots in the game were thwarted by the keepers, with Port’s Alex Pallo and Lutheran’s Elissa King each credited
with five saves.
“It was a total team effort for us,” said O’Brien, who saw the Pirates improve their overall record to 7-11.
“The weather was really hot, and we had to make a lot of substitutions on defense. Everyone stepped up.”
O’Brien knows his team will face another major challenge this Friday when it returns to Shorewood to take on the host Greyhounds at
Shorewood (11-7-2) edged Port, 1-0, in the East Side Cup tournament in April. Last week, the top-seeded Greyhounds blanked St. Joan
Antida, 10-0, and Wisconsin Lutheran, 1-0, to reach the sectional level.
“It’s going to be a real tough match, but we’re playing our best soccer of the season now,” O’Brien said.
“We’ve faced a lot of great teams in the North Shore Conference, and we’ve seen this kind of competition before. The girls have a lot of
Friday’s winner will advance to a 1:30 p.m. sectional final Saturday in Pewaukee. The opponent will be the winner of a game between
Catholic Memorial and Pewaukee.
Port 7, Milwaukee School of Languages 0
The Pirates scored early and often in a regional semifinal win at home June 2.
Brianna Krueger put Port ahead to stay with a goal in the fourth minute, and the lead grew to 4-0 by halftime.
Brittany Bultman led the Pirates with two goals, and Krueger, McDonald, Caity Tydrick, Beth Sherwood and Mallory Mueller each had
one. Mueller was also credited with an assist.
Port posted a 27-2 edge in shots.
School of Languages finished the year 12-8.