Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 14:47
Two more wins in hand, Grafton measures up to standing as soccer team to be reckoned with
In recent years, the Grafton Black Hawks have had a knack of sneaking up on soccer opponents who underestimated their talent as a Division 2 girls’ team.
But those days appear to be a thing of the past for the Hawks, who have made a strong statement as a squad to be reckoned with early this season.
“We’re probably not going to sneak up on a lot of people this time,” said Grafton coach Don Arnold, whose team posted its fourth straight win last Friday at Slinger.
“The more we win, the higher the expectations will be for us, but that’s all right.”
Grafton defeated Slinger, 2-0, in a nonconference game after blanking Cedarburg by the same margin in North Shore Conference play April 20.
Friday’s win improved the Hawks’ season record to 6-1-2 — an impressive start in which they have outscored foes, 24-3, and climbed to No. 3 in last week’s Division 2 state soccer coaches poll.
Slinger didn’t go down without a fight, though. The Owls battled Grafton to a scoreless standoff for one half before the Hawks took control.
Sophomore forward Hannah Eichler provided the game winner in the 53rd minute when she netted a volley shot off a corner kick by teammate Emma Fatla.
Fifteen minutes later, Melissa Hencke scored an insurance goal with an assist from Angie Mann.
“Hannah had a great goal that gave us a big lift against a good Slinger team,” Arnold said.
“We came and started with no spark. There was no pep in our step, and we were lucky we weren’t behind at halftime.”
After catching fire, the Hawks finished with a 19-10 edge in shots and secured their sixth shutout in their last seven games.
Grafton 2, Cedarburg 0
Eichler contributed to a pair of first-half goals that gave the Hawks control in a league road win April 20.
Eichler scored first in the fifth minute off an assist from Ali Lorge.
At 27 minutes, Carley Pfannerstill doubled the margin off a feed from Eichler.
“It was a fantastic win for us. Cedarburg is always a tough team to play, especially on their field,” Arnold said.
“The only disappointing thing was that we stopped attacking after the 27th minute. After that, we sat back and seemed content to play defense.”
Cedarburg pressed its attack throughout the second half but was unable to crack the Hawks’ defense. The Bulldogs finished with a 28-19 edge in shots but couldn’t get one past sophomore goalkeeper Alissa Viste, who had 19 saves.
Arnold also credited Hannah Knauer for an outstanding job in marking forward Lydia Koenig, the Bulldogs’ top scoring threat.
The win evened Grafton’s NSC record at 1-0-1 heading into another conference game Tuesday against Nicolet.
This weekend, the Hawks will travel to Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee to play in the Moynihan Cup, which will have several other state-ranked teams. Their first game in the eight-team tournament will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday against Brookfield East.
Play will continue with championship and consolation brackets on Saturday.
On May 4, Grafton will play a 7 p.m. road game against Whitefish Bay, the defending NSC champion.
Pirates fall twice in tournament
The Port Washington girls’ soccer team continued to struggle to find the net during a pair of losses in a four-team tournament at Shorewood last weekend.
The Pirates lost, 2-0, to South Milwaukee in the consolation final Saturday after being edged, 1-0, by Whitefish Bay Dominican on Friday.
“We were right in both games and could have won them,” said Port coach Sean O’Brien, whose team fell to 0-4.
“We played well, but we had trouble finishing on offense.”
Against South Milwaukee, the Pirates had a 10-3 edge in shots but had several attempts either deflect off a post or sail just wide, O’Brien said.
Trailing, 1-0, with two minutes left, Port put in an extra attacker to go for the tying goal, only to have the Rockets tack on an easy score.
“Even so, I was pleased with our effort,” O’Brien said.
In Friday’s semifinals, the Pirates played Dominican to a scoreless deadlock in the first half before surrendering a goal off a corner kick early in the second period.
Despite the weekend losses, O’Brien said he was encouraged by his team’s play. He singled out the defense of juniors Mallory Mueller and keeper Alex Pallo and strong all-around efforts by juniors Bre McDonald and Cassie Braam and freshman Brianna Krueger.
“We’re getting better each game. It’s just a matter of time until we start putting it all together,” O’Brien said.
Nicolet 5, Port Washington 0
After trailing, 2-0, at halftime, the Pirates couldn’t muster a comeback in a North Shore Conference road loss April 20.
The Knights turned the game into a rout by scoring three goals in the second period.
This week, Port resumed NSC play against Whitefish Bay on Tuesday.
The Pirates’ next games will be on the road against Milwaukee Lutheran at 7 p.m. May 4 and against Brown Deer at 4:30 p.m. May 5.
Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 14:42
Benkley shatters meet, school marks in 3,200 as Pirates warm up to outdoor
Records are made to be broken, but it usually takes track and field athletes several weeks outdoors to take serious aim at new standards.
Don’t count Port Washington’s Bianca Benkley among the procrastinators.
The freshman standout obliterated a pair of records when she won the 3,200-meter girls’ race in last Saturday’s Viking Invitational at Wisconsin Lutheran High School.
Benkley’s time of 11 minutes, 32.27 seconds not only shattered the meet record by more than eight seconds, it blew away the previous Port girls’ mark of 11:39.8 set by Courtney Nault in 2003.
“It’s a good starting point,” Port girls’ coach Joe Adamak said of Benkley’s performance.
“Our plan was to come out and go for the record, and Bianca and our other girls in the race set the pace. They all had outstanding times for this point in the season.”
Benkley finished 1.6 seconds ahead of runner-up Leah Rendflesh of South Milwaukee. Other Port runners in the scoring pack were Ashley Hilton and Diana Seer, who finished fifth (12:06.65) and seventh (12:21.9), respectively.
Benkley also anchored the winning 3,200 relay for the Pirates, who placed seventh overall in the 13-team girls’ meet. She combined with Hilton, Seer and Payton Greisch for a 10:10.94 time that was more than nine seconds faster than the runner-up relay.
“We were actually hoping for a much better time than that, but we’ll keep working on it,” Adamak said.
Port scored 45 points in the meet, which was won by Wisconsin Lutheran with 112.5. Milwaukee Lutheran took second with 96 points, and South Milwaukee was third with 77.
The Pirates’ other scoring finishes were a third by Marly Trier in the discus (101 feet, 6 inches), fourth by Greisch in the 400 dash (1:10.68) and fifths by Trier in the shot put (30-2) and Sarah Carini in the discus (90-4).
Just out of the scoring with a ninth-place finish in the 800 run was Port’s Bonnie Allen (2:33.8).
In the boys’ portion of the meet, the Pirates took eighth out of 13 teams with 42 points.
Milwaukee Marquette won the title with 116 points, 10 more than runner-up Wisconsin Lutheran.
Setting the pace for Port were four second-place finishes — from Joe McIlree in the 400 dash (51.31), Jared Sandlin in the 800 run (2:01.91), the 1,600 relay of Adam Prom, Steven Nelson, Sandlin and McIlree (3:33.62) and the 3,200 relay of Prom, Nelson, Casey Karpin and Justin Fote (8:25.76).
The Pirates’ other scoring finishes were sixths by Fote in the 800 run (2:05.27), Adam Schoenfeld in the triple jump (40-4) and the 800 relay of Schoenfeld, Prom, Nelson and Brennan Liebscher (1:36.79) and an eighth by Zach Hauser in the discus (116-11).
“It was a pretty good day for us,” said Port boys’ coach Mark Pasten, who singled out McIlree’s 400-dash and his team’s two relay finishes as strong efforts on a drizzly day.
“We knew coming into the meet that Marquette and Lutheran were deeper than us, so we didn’t try to put a lineup together to score the most points we could.”
The Pirates were also slowed by the loss of senior distance runner Jeff Bartow, who withdrew midway through the meet due to illness.
Pasten praised junior Augie Yates for a 10th-place finish in the 1,600 run. Yates’ time of 4:49.99 was 15 seconds faster than his previous-best effort.
This week, both Port teams ran at the New Berlin Relays on Tuesday and will participate at the Titan Invitational in Oshkosh at 4 p.m. Friday.
On May 5, the Pirates will travel to Cedarburg for the North Shore Conference Relays.
Black Hawks win invitational title
It took 10 first-place finishes, but the Grafton boys’ track and field team piled up enough victories to secure a championship by the narrowest of margins at the annual Slinger Invitational on April 21.
Coach Kevin Kriegel’s squad scored 64 points, one more than the host Owls in a battle for top honors in the three-team meet. Greendale had 50 points.
“It was a small, low-key meet, but it was a good confidence builder for our team,” Kriegel said.
The Black Hawks were led by double winner Jason Zahn, a sophomore who placed first in the shot put (48-2) and discus (146-11).
Grafton’s other individual firsts came from Ryan Grange in the high jump (5-8), D. Foster in the 100 dash (11.4), Sean Hanley in the 400 dash (53.4), Justin Tomashek in the 800 run (2:04.1) and Ryan Rieboldt in the 3,200 run (11:02.7).
Winning relay races for the Hawks were the 3,200 team of Chris Rose, Stefan Lundgren, Eric Gergens and Adam Kahmann (9:19.5), the 800 team of Foster, Kevin Wegner, Jake Bronowski and Grange (1:36.2) and the 400 team of Jason Karrels, Bronowski, Wegner and Foster (46.5).
In the girls’ portion of the meet, Grafton placed second with 63 points. Slinger was first with 85 points, and Greendale had 36.
Freshman Cathy Brunette led the Hawks with victories in the 100 high hurdles (16.8) and 300 low hurdles (51.2).
Grafton also got firsts from Sara Grange in the 100 dash (13.3), Emily Van Langen in the 200 dash (28.3), Samie McKee in the high jump (5-0), the 400 relay of Emily Schreiner, Grange, McKee and Van Langen (53.2) and the 3,200 relay (11:21.5).
Next up on the schedule for both Grafton teams are the Waukesha North Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday and the North Shore Conference Relays at Cedarburg on May 5.
Pirates trail at Cedarburg meet
The Port boys’ and girls’ teams both placed third in a meet at Cedarburg on April 20.
Cedarburg topped the three-team girls’ standings with 92.5 points, followed by Beaver Dam (51.5) and Port (31).
Placing first for the Pirates were Claire Kinzer in the pole vault (7-6), Trier in the shot put (33-6-1/4) and the 3,200 relay of Gresich, Seer, Hilton and Benkley (10:13.08).
The Port boys scored 35 points in a four-team field, finishing ahead of Milwaukee South, which had 17. Beaver Dam took first with 77.5 points, and Cedarburg was second with 35.5.
Taking first for Port were Jason Marhal in the 1,600 run (5:26.22) and Schoenfeld in the triple jump (39-5).