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 girlâ€™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.
â€śEverybody was disappointed with the loss, but our play and effort was superb and the girls left everything out there,â€ť 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.
â€śWhen youâ€™re playing a good team like Catholic Memorial, you canâ€™t give them anything for free,â€ť 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 couldnâ€™t get an equalizer.
â€śThe girls didnâ€™t put their heads down and responded by basically taking over the game in the second half,â€ť Arnold said.
Arnold said each team had just six or seven shots and the majority of the game was played in the midfield.
â€śSeeing them after the game with the pain on their faces was tough,â€ť Arnold said. â€śThey really left everything out there.â€ť
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.
Graftonâ€™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.
â€śOne of the toughest things about the end of every season is having to say goodbye to our seniors,â€ť Arnold said. â€śThese were some incredible girls who did a lot of great things for our program.â€ť
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.
â€śWe basically came in and controlled the game from the opening minute,â€ť
Arnold said. â€śIt 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.â€ť
The game was a rematch of a 2-0 Hawks win Plymouth on April 1, the first game of the season.
â€śPlymouth had a real good record and we got beat up a little bit during the North Shore Conference season,â€ť Arnold said. â€śBut we proved we were the better team that day.â€ť
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