Rally lifts Grafton soccer team to road victory before start of tough league tests
It took a second-half rally, but the Grafton boys’ soccer team got a much-needed taste of victory last Friday.
After losing their season opener earlier in the week, the Black Hawks found themselves in a 1-1 deadlock with host Franklin at halftime of a nonconference match.
Wasting no time after the break, Grafton jumped ahead for good when Alex Lorbecki scored with an assist from Andrew Best in the 41st minute.
Wolfgang Pilarski added a penalty-kick goal in the 52nd minute, and the Hawks rolled to a 4-2 win.GRAFTON’S MATTHEW SALM beat a Catholic Memorial player to the ball during a nonconference match that opened the season for both teams Aug. 17. Catholic Memorial won, 4-1. Photo by Sam Arendt
“It was nice to get a win heading into our first conference game,” said Grafton coach Don Arnold, whose team opened North Shore play this week with a Tuesday game against Cedarburg.
“Franklin has a small, football-size field, and we had trouble adjusting in the first half. But we came out right away in the second half and got going.”
Lorbecki, a junior forward, gave Grafton a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute when he scored with an assist from Pilarski. Franklin countered with a score in the 37th minute.
In the second period, the teams exchanged penalty-kick goals. Pilarski converted his shot after a hand-ball violation, and Franklin got its final goal in the 53rd minute after a Grafton foul in the box.
A goal in the 65th minute by Aaron Hodges, assisted by Clint Finley, gave the Hawks some insurance.
“It was a tough game. We had trouble early, but we showed some composure and came back strong in the second half,” Arnold said.
Catholic Memorial 4, Grafton 1
Second-half struggles hurt the Hawks against a strong nonconference foe in their season opener Aug. 17.
The Crusaders grabbed a 2-1 lead in the first half when they got two goals from Patrick McNulty, including a go-ahead score in the 25th minute. Grafton’s goal came from freshman Adam Huibregste, with an assist from Pilarski, at 19:51.
Catholic Memorial pulled away in the second period with goals from Aaron Horvat in the 54th and 77th minutes.
“We wanted to have a good challenge in our first game, and we got one,” Arnold said.
“All in all, it was a good test. The guys worked hard.”
After facing Cedarburg, Grafton will play in the Kettle Moraine Lutheran Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
On Aug. 30, the Hawks will host Germantown at 7 p.m.
Invitational wins elude Pirates
Close calls didn’t favor the Port Washington boys’ soccer team last weekend when it went 0-3 at the Early Bird Invitational in Mukwonago.
After losing to Burlington, 2-1, on Friday, the Pirates were edged by Madison East, 2-0, and Wisconsin Rapids, 1-0, on Saturday and finished last in the eight-team tournament.
“All the games were close. We had a lot of scoring opportunities we didn’t take advantage of,” Port coach Mike Bultman said.
Against Burlington, the Pirates took a 1-0 lead when Alex Bello scored with an assist from Dan Macek. However, Burlington rallied with two second-half goals, including the game winner with five minutes left.
In Saturday’s consolation semifinal, Port gave up two goals to Madison East on defensive breakdowns. “We left a lot of their players alone,” Bultman said.
The Pirates then had to face Wisconsin Rapids with little time between games. Rapids scored in the first half and hung on the rest of the way.
“We were tired and put in the effort, but it was a tough, physical game,” Bultman said. “Rapids had two fouls that should have been red cards, but we didn’t get the calls.”
Port goalkeeper Mitch Lemons was hurt on a collision and sustained a deep bruise that is expected to sideline him for several games, Bultman said.
Despite the winless weekend, Bultman said his team held its own against tough opponents.
“For as inexperienced as we are, we’ve been competitive with Div. 1 teams,” he said.
Port Washington 3, Sheboygan Christian 0
The Pirates opened the season with an easy nonconference win at home Aug. 16.
Eric Graf opened the scoring with an assist from David Cornell in the 35th minute.
Port added two goals in the second period. After Bello scored off a Graf assist in the 46th minute, Bello delivered a ball that Graf drove into the net in the 70th minute.
This week, the Pirates opened their North Shore Conference schedule against Milwaukee Lutheran on Tuesday. Their next game will be Aug. 30, when they host Homestead at 7 p.m.