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Port, Grafton show grit on diamond PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MITCH MEARSCH   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 21:21

Local teams learn tough lessons in recent defeats, gain confidence

Port Washington’s baseball team has been on both sides of a few close calls in the past week, including a walk-off and an extra-inning thriller.

“We’re in every one of ‘em. That shows the fight,” said coach Nicholas Wycklendt. “I think we’ll have a very dangerous team if we keep hitting this way and playing defense like we have.”

On Monday, the Pirates couldn’t hang on to leads of 4-1 and 5-3 against North Shore Conference rival West Bend West and lost, 6-5, in eight innings.

The Spartans used two slow-moving ground balls past the pitcher’s mound before a two-out single to right field gave them the lead for good in the eighth.

Pirate Derek Haley pitched the first six innings before getting into a little trouble in the seventh.

At the plate, Nick Godersky had two hits and four RBIs. All but one player in the lineup got a hit.

The Pirates put one runner on in the seventh but couldn’t get him around.

“We hit the ball really well today. The hitting was really spread out tonight,” said Wycklendt.

Monomonee Falls 9, Port 7;

Falls 20, Port 8

 
Experience shows in quarterfinal victory PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 21:09

Poised Grafton girls take control early against Neenah in 3-0 triumph

Soccer may be the epitome of a team sport, but there was no mistaking who stole the show in Grafton’s quarterfinal game at the WIAA girls’ state tournament last Thursday.

Alyssa Arnold put her strong, accurate right foot to great use in leading the Black Hawks to a 3-0 win over Neenah.

In the 19th minute, the junior midfielder gave her team all the offense it needed when she lofted a free kick from the right side of the Neenah box. The ball floated over keeper Brooke Hiltunen, who had strayed off line, and landed inside the far post.

With less than five minutes left in the first half, Arnold came up big again.

This time, she launched a perfectly placed corner kick from the right side that sailed in front of the net. Hiltunen got her hands on the ball, but it bounced free and was immediately headed into the net by an alert Tess Safstrom.

Grafton took a 2-0 lead into halftime and was never seriously threatened again.

“I think we just got some good opportunities to score, and we wanted to take advantage of them,” Arnold said.

“That’s what you have to do, especially in these kind of games.”

Any thoughts of a Neenah comeback were dashed early in the second period.

 
Hawks punch another state ticket PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 16:26

Upset win over top-ranked Cedarburg sends Grafton to showcase soccer tournament for fifth straight year

As a modest sixth seed in a brutally tough WIAA Division 1 sectional, the Grafton girls’ soccer team appeared to be a long shot to book a repeat trip to the state tournament this spring.

With six regular-season losses and a fourth-place finish in the North Shore Conference, the Black Hawks weren’t supposed to survive talent-laden brackets topped by powers such as Cedarburg, Arrowhead and Hartford.

Forget the naysayers.

When the final whistle sounded last Saturday, Grafton not only walked off the Germantown High School field with a sectional championship, it did so in impressive fashion. The Hawks outraced, outworked and outshot previously undefeated Cedarburg for a 5-2 win that reaffirmed their place among the state’s soccer elite.

“It was an amazing game, a great performance by our girls,” said Grafton coach Don Arnold, whose team broke open a close match with three second-half goals.

“I think the biggest thing was our speed. We were able to keep attacking and keep the pressure on Cedarburg, especially in the second half.”

Not surprisingly, Arnold singled out the play of senior forward Carley Pfannerstill, who scored two goals, assisted on another and drew a foul that created a penalty kick.

“Carley was just a handful for their defenders with her speed and ball handling. She played like a champion all night,” Arnold said.

 
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