Inexperience, injuries make things tough on Pirates in pair of defeats
The learning curve took a steep turn for the Port Washington High School girls’ soccer team last week.
Dogged by injuries and inexperience, the Pirates struggled in a pair of losses — most recently a 6-1, nonconference defeat at the hands of Oostburg on Friday.
Slow starts in each half hurt host Port, which trailed, 3-0, at the break.
“Oostburg is good, but we just don’t have a lot of depth,” said Port coach Mike Bultman, whose team was missing three starters.
“We had to use a lot of young people who are still trying to learn how to be varsity players.”
The Pirates were without starters Caity Tydrick, Brianna Krueger and Abby Becker due to injuries and a nonsoccer commitment. Krueger will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury.
Oostburg built an early lead by scoring goals in the 10th, 13th and 17th minutes. The Lady Dutch ended any thoughts of a Port comeback by tacking on three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second period.
“We didn’t challenge the ball in the air or in the box,” Bultman said. “We just weren’t aggressive enough.”
After regrouping to “play pretty well in the last 20 minutes,” according to Bultman, the Pirates averted a shutout in the 74th minute. Becca Leiviska scored on a free kick after an Oostburg foul.
The loss left Port with a 2-7 season record. Oostburg improved to 4-6.
Nicolet 8, Port Washington 0
Things turned sour for the Pirates in the second half of a North Shore Conference road loss April 24.
After hanging tough in the first half and trailing by only 2-0 at the break, Port saw its defense break down early in the second period.
Nicolet scored in the 42nd, 43rd and 48th minutes to turn the game into a rout.
“We played a great first half. We challenged well and fought hard,” Bultman said.
“But Nicolet is a talented, older team that’s very physical. They took it to us in the second half.”
Seven Nicolet players had goals, led by Daniell Sobelman with two.
Port goalkeeper Sarah Maechtle had 16 saves.
The Pirates fell to 0-3 in NSC play.
This week, Port was scheduled to face Whitefish Bay on Tuesday and will host Kettle Moraine Lutheran in a 7 p.m. nonconference match Friday.
On May 8, the Pirates will resume conference play with a 7 p.m. game at Germantown.
Image Information: PORT WASHINGTON’S Miranda Wieck slipped the ball past an Oostburg defender in a nonconference game last Friday. Oostburg built an early lead on the way to a 6-1 win. Photo by Sam Arendt