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Longtime league rival Blue Dukes await Hawks in state quarterfinals PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 15:24

A familiar foe awaits the Grafton girls’ soccer team in the first round of the WIAA Division 1 state tournament Thursday.

Whitefish Bay, a perennial power and longtime North Shore Conference rival, will take on the Black Hawks in a 5 p.m. quarterfinal game at Uihlein Soccer Field in Milwaukee.

“We expect a really tough game from them,” Grafton coach Don Arnold said of the Blue Dukes, who gave the Hawks a fight before losing, 2-1, in a conference game May 3.

“Bay always gives us trouble. The last time, they outplayed us, but we were able to make a few plays and pull out a win.”

In Thursday’s rematch, Grafton (23-2-2) will be favored against the Dukes (14-8-2), who finished fifth in the conference. However, the NSC co-champion Hawks will have to be on their toes after managing hard-fought sectional wins over Germantown and Cedarburg.

Bay is coming off a 1-0 win over Divine Savior Holy Angels in a sectional final after defeating Milwaukee King, 10-0, in the semifinals and receiving two victories by forfeit in regional play.

“We know that Bay has fast, talented players,” Arnold said. “They always have players who know how to win.”

The Dukes’ offensive standouts include junior forward Abby Starker and senior midfielder/forward Lydia Kaminsky.

Bay has won seven state titles and will be making its 17th state-tournament appearance, both WIAA records. Grafton will make its fourth straight state appearance and ninth overall, including a runner-up finish in Division 2 last year.

With nearly all of its team members having played at the state level, Grafton holds a significant edge in big-game experience over the Dukes. Bay has not been in a state tournament since 2007.

The winner of the Grafton-Bay game will face the winner of a quarterfinal between Waukesha West and Kenosha Tremper in an 8 p.m. semifinal contest Friday. Semifinal winners will meet for the title at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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