Grafton soccer team shows its resilience with comeback victory over University School
The 2013 season has only just begun, but the Grafton Black Hawks have already managed to make a loud soccer statement.
After thumping Nicolet in a North Shore Conference match to open the year, coach Don Arnold’s boys’ team rallied to edge University School of Milwaukee, 3-2, in a double-overtime game Aug. 22.
Brendan Larsen’s goal in the 98th minute, assisted by Adam Huibregste, capped a comeback in which host Grafton overcame a 2-1 halftime deficit.
“University School came to play, and it showed,” Arnold said. “We outshot them, but they made the most of their scoring chances and got us in an early hole.”
Huibregste, a junior, put Grafton up quickly with a goal in the eighth minute, assisted by Ben Lorge.
However, the Wildcats wasted no time responding. Jack Hiller scored an equalizing goal at 16 minutes and found the net again at 38 minutes to put USM on top at the break.
The Wildcats were poised for an upset victory as the game moved into the late stages, but Lorge and Larsen came to the rescue. In the 70th minute, Lorge put the USM keeper on his
heels with a shot that deflected to Larsen for a finishing score.
“University School played very stingy defense against us. When they got the lead, they did everything they could to keep us from scoring the tying goal and really made us work,” Arnold
The Hawks stayed on the aggressive in overtime but couldn’t get the winner until the final two minutes. Huibregste became the playmaker, chipping the ball to Larsen for a scoring header.
“It was a good win for us. We were reminded that we have to come out and play hard against everybody,” Arnold said.
Grafton was slowed by the absence of standout Jake Demerath, a sophomore midfielder who is expected to miss at least four weeks because of a quadriceps injury. Demerath was injured in the Hawks’ season opener.
“We’re going to miss him, but we have to have other people step up,” Arnold said. “That’s the way we’re approaching it.”
Grafton 4, Nicolet 0
A dominant first half carried the Hawks to an impressive road win Aug. 20.
Sparked by the play of junior Spencer Ortyn and freshman Tyler Howard, Grafton raced to a 3-0 lead by the 23rd minute.
Ortyn provided the first goal, converting off a long diagonal pass from Huibregste in the 10th minute.
After Howard made it 2-0 eight minutes later with an assist from Ortyn, Howard crossed the ball to Ben Baumann for a goal that gave the Hawks a commanding lead.
For good measure, Larsen tacked on an insurance goal at 46 minutes, assisted by Howard.
“It was good to see our young players step up like they did,” Arnold said of Ortyn and Howard. “When you lose players to graduation, that’s what you need to have to keep winning.”
This week, Grafton resumed NSC play with a match against Homestead on Tuesday and will participate in the Kettle Moraine Lutheran Invitational this weekend. The Hawks open play against host Lutheran at 5 p.m. Friday and have a second match Saturday.
On Sept. 3, the Hawks will travel to Whitefish Bay for a 7 p.m. conference game.
Image Information: GRAFTON’S ZACH GREENWOOD tried to use a heady play to gain possession of the ball, but University School goalkeeper Jack Wells had other ideas. Photo by Sam Arendt