Pirates score semifinal win but fall in title game; Grafton struggles with defense in pair of losses
After stumbling to shutout losses in back-to-back North Shore Conference games, the Port Washington boysâ soccer team entered its quadrangular tournament last weekend eager for a win.PORTâS CARLOS HELMSTEDT (left) battled a Luxemburg-Casco player for possession of the ball during Saturdayâs championship game of the Port Washington quadrangular tournament. Photo by Sam Arendt
The Pirates regained their form by blanking Platteville/Lancaster, 2-0, in Fridayâs semifinals. However, they scuffled n Saturdayâs title game, falling to Luxemburg-Casco, 3-1.
âWe did OK against Platteville, but we didnât play very well Saturday,â Port coach Mike Bultman said.
âWe played very individual soccer, which is supposed to be a team sport. We werenât making any runs off the ball and just didnât have a very good team effort.â
Senior Alex Bello kept the Pirates in contention with a goal that tied the score at 1-1 late in the first half. However, Luxemburg-Casco pulled away by scoring in the 60th and 66th minutes.
âWeâve got some things to work on, and getting everyone involved as a team is the first one,â Bultman said.
Against Platteville/Lancaster, Bello scored a pair of unassisted goals in the first half.
Bultman praised senior goalkeeper B.J. LaForest, who âplayed very, very well and made some key saves for us.â
LaForest has been filling in for injured keeper Mitch Lemons.
The weekend split left the Pirates with a 3-6 overall record.
Slinger 3, Grafton 1
Shaky defense in the second half hurt the host Black Hawks in a nonconference loss last Friday.
Grafton rallied from a 1-0 deficit to tie the game in the 31st minute on a goal by Willie McElligott. But the Owls stepped up their attack in the second period and pulled away with goals from Jesse Anderson in the 56th minute and Scott Burns at 74 minutes.
âWe didnât clear the ball in the back, and it hurt us. We werenât aggressive enough,â Grafton coach Don Arnold said.
Goalkeeper Killian Mielotz âplayed a fantastic gameâ to help keep the Hawks in contention, Arnold said. The sophomore finished with seven saves.
Homestead 3, Grafton 2
The Hawks came up short in a North Shore Conference road loss Sept. 6.
After McElligott gave Grafton a 1-0 edge in the 13th minute, Homestead responded quickly with a goal by Mike Skow at 13:45.
Skow struck again with a score at 14:33 that put the Highlanders ahead. However, Grafton retied the game with a goal by Jake Kellett off a free kick at 28:13.
The match remained deadlocked until Adam Nelsonâs goal, assisted by Mitchell Milaitis, in the 47th minute.
âIt was disappointing, but we didnât play that bad,â Arnold said. âWe gave up two goals when we didnât clear the ball again.â
The loss left Grafton at 1-2 in NSC games. Homestead took over sole possession of first place at 3-0.
This week, the Hawks (5-4 overall) returned to conference play Tuesday against Nicolet.
Grafton will participate in the Appleton Xavier Invitational on Friday and Saturday before resuming its league schedule Sept. 20 with a 7 p.m. match at Whitefish Bay.
Nicolet 7, Port Washington 0
The Pirates fell behind early and couldnât recover in a North Shore Conference road loss Sept. 6.
Nicolet scored twice in the first eight minutes and built a 5-0 lead by halftime. Brady Behling had a hat trick for the Knights.
Port opened the game with five starters on the bench due to disciplinary action and never got on track, Bultman said.
The loss dropped Port to 1-2 in the conference. This week, the Pirates resumed NSC play against Whitefish Bay on Tuesday and will participate in the Sheboygan Falls quadrangular at 9 a.m. Saturday.
On Sept. 20, Port will play a 7 p.m. league game at Germantown.