Comeback bid against Catholic Memorial comes up just one goal short
If you asked Don Arnold three weeks ago, he would have had a hard time believing his team would fall just short of a trip to the state tournament.
The Grafton girl’s soccer team was 5-7-3 after a 2-1 loss at West Bend West on May 22. They were just 1-4 in the rough North Shore Conference.
But the Hawks finished the year strong and were in a position to punch their ticket to Milwaukee during a sectional title game against Catholic Memorial.
Despite a spirited second half comeback, the Hawks saw their season end with a tough 2-1 defeat.
“Everybody was disappointed with the loss, but our play and effort was superb and the girls left everything out there,” Arnold said.
Catholic Memorial (23-2-1), the No. 1 sectional seed and ranked No. 1 in Division 3 in the state, got a goal on a penalty kick from Cristina From in the seventh minute and another by Emily Cervantes in the 34th minute to take a 2-0 lead at halftime.
“When you’re playing a good team like Catholic Memorial, you can’t give them anything for free,” Arnold said of the penalty kick goal.
The Hawks (10-9-4) got their goal from Zoie Bauer in the 45th minute and played tough the rest of the way but couldn’t get an equalizer.
“The girls didn’t put their heads down and responded by basically taking over the game in the second half,” Arnold said.
Arnold said each team had just six or seven shots and the majority of the game was played in the midfield.
“Seeing them after the game with the pain on their faces was tough,” Arnold said. “They really left everything out there.”
The Crusaders will continue their season by advancing to the WIAA Division 3 state tournament for the ninth consecutive season with a game against Appleton Xavier on June 19.
Grafton’s loss meant the end of the high school careers for six seniors: Emily Malkowski, Amanda Ritonia, Jessie Bader, Bauer, Elena Destrampe and Sarah Coeur.
“One of the toughest things about the end of every season is having to say goodbye to our seniors,” Arnold said. “These were some incredible girls who did a lot of great things for our program.”
Grafton 3, Plymouth 0
The visiting Hawks struck early and often in a 3-0 sectional semifinal win against Plymouth on June 12.
The Hawks got goals from Malkowski and
Bader before halftime and Bauer tacked on another in the 46th minute.
“We basically came in and controlled the game from the opening minute,”
Arnold said. “It was great to see us go up there and take control and I think that gave the girls a lot of confidence for the game on Saturday.”
The game was a rematch of a 2-0 Hawks win Plymouth on April 1, the first game of the season.
“Plymouth had a real good record and we got beat up a little bit during the North Shore Conference season,” Arnold said. “But we proved we were the better team that day.”
Image information: THE GRAFTON GIRLS soccer team had plenty to celebrate Thursday, June 12, during a sectional semifinal victory over Plymouth. The mood changed Saturday, when the Black Hawks fell to Catholic Memorial, snuffing out hopes for a trip to state. Photo by Sam Arendt