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Lady Hawks + Lady Luck = another state trip PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 15:34

Grafton soccer team gets unexpected gift in sectional win that punches 4th straight ticket to big show at Uihlein Field

MEMBERS OF THE Grafton soccer team celebrated during a sectional semifinal win over Germantown on June 9. Two days later, the Black Hawks defeated Cedarburg for the sectional title.
                                                  Photo by Sam Arendt
  Luck is often the residue of design, but the Grafton girls’ soccer team couldn’t have concocted a plan to win a title the way they did last Saturday.

Thanks to an inadvertent assist, the Black Hawks stunned Cedarburg, 3-2, in a WIAA Division 1 sectional final at Brookfield East — and earned their fourth straight trip to the state tournament this week.

After the teams battled to a 2-2 tie through regulation and nearly 15 minutes of overtime, the match appeared headed for a shootout. But in the 95th minute, Grafton caught its biggest break of the season when Cedarburg defender Hannah Groth tried to clear the ball from her own goal, only to have it spin backward.

Groth’s header eluded Cedarburg keeper Chloe Felmer and rolled into the net for an “own goal” that gave the Hawks a heart-stopping victory.

“It was an amazing game. You never would have expected it to end that way,” said Grafton coach Don Arnold, whose team scored its third straight one-goal win in the playoffs.

“It was a lucky bounce for us and a bad break for Cedarburg, but you have to give us some credit for keeping the pressure on them. We created a ton of opportunities to score during the game and put the ball in position for something like that to happen.

“But sometimes it’s good to have luck on your side, too.”

Overshadowed by the shocking conclusion was a seesaw duel between two longtime North Shore Conference rivals and state-ranked teams. Intent on avenging a 1-0 loss to Cedarburg on May 26, the Hawks struck first.

Hannah Eichler scored on a penalty kick to put Grafton up, 1-0, in the 29th minute. However, the Bulldogs bounced back less than a minute later when Josee Stiever fed Andrea Doll for a tying goal.

The pattern continued in the second half. This time, Stiever — who had the lone goal in the May 26 game — put Cedarburg up, 2-1, at 65 minutes when she dribbled past two defenders and drove a shot past keeper Alissa Viste.

Grafton wasn’t to be denied, though. Emma Fatla came to the rescue, driving a shot past Felmer in the 70th minute that reknotted the game.

“We’ve had a lot of really tough games against Cedarburg, so it wasn’t a surprise that it was another close one,” Arnold said. “But it did come down to one big play again.”

Grafton, which finished No. 2 among Division 1 teams in the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association’s final state poll, will take a 23-2-3 record into the state quarterfinals Thursday against Whitefish Bay at Uihlien Soccer Field (see related story).

Cedarburg, ranked No. 8, ended the season 15-3-1.

Grafton 2, Germantown 1

The Hawks overcame an early deficit to secure a sectional semifinal win at home June 9.

Germantown struck first on a goal by Jamie Karch in the 20th minute. However, Grafton gained control with a pair of scores from Fatla.

The senior tied the match with an assist from Eichler at 20:23 and capped the scoring with an unassisted goal in the 35th minute.

“Emma had a great game,” Arnold said. “She got us back into it pretty fast after Germantown scored, and we kept it going from there.”

Steady play by the Grafton defense was another key, Arnold noted. The Hawks were able to keep Germantown’s quick-strike offense off the board for the final 60 minutes, a stretch that included a clutch save by Viste on a penalty kick.

Germantown — which also lost to the Black Hawks, 1-0, in North Shore play — finished 13-5-1.

 
Longtime league rival Blue Dukes await Hawks in state quarterfinals PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 15:24

A familiar foe awaits the Grafton girls’ soccer team in the first round of the WIAA Division 1 state tournament Thursday.

Whitefish Bay, a perennial power and longtime North Shore Conference rival, will take on the Black Hawks in a 5 p.m. quarterfinal game at Uihlein Soccer Field in Milwaukee.

“We expect a really tough game from them,” Grafton coach Don Arnold said of the Blue Dukes, who gave the Hawks a fight before losing, 2-1, in a conference game May 3.

“Bay always gives us trouble. The last time, they outplayed us, but we were able to make a few plays and pull out a win.”

In Thursday’s rematch, Grafton (23-2-2) will be favored against the Dukes (14-8-2), who finished fifth in the conference. However, the NSC co-champion Hawks will have to be on their toes after managing hard-fought sectional wins over Germantown and Cedarburg.

Bay is coming off a 1-0 win over Divine Savior Holy Angels in a sectional final after defeating Milwaukee King, 10-0, in the semifinals and receiving two victories by forfeit in regional play.

“We know that Bay has fast, talented players,” Arnold said. “They always have players who know how to win.”

The Dukes’ offensive standouts include junior forward Abby Starker and senior midfielder/forward Lydia Kaminsky.

Bay has won seven state titles and will be making its 17th state-tournament appearance, both WIAA records. Grafton will make its fourth straight state appearance and ninth overall, including a runner-up finish in Division 2 last year.

With nearly all of its team members having played at the state level, Grafton holds a significant edge in big-game experience over the Dukes. Bay has not been in a state tournament since 2007.

The winner of the Grafton-Bay game will face the winner of a quarterfinal between Waukesha West and Kenosha Tremper in an 8 p.m. semifinal contest Friday. Semifinal winners will meet for the title at 2 p.m. Saturday.

 
Koehler’s arm, bat carry Grafton to NSC road win PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 15:17

C.J. Koehler used his pitching arm and bat to lead the Grafton Black Hawks past host West Bend East, 4-1, in a North Shore Conference baseball game Monday.

The senior right-hander struck out two and walked three in a complete-game effort, as Grafton improved to 2-4 in NSC play.

The Hawks built a 2-0 lead by scoring in the first and fourth innings. After East (3-3) pulled within 2-1 in the sixth, Grafton added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh.

At the plate, Koehler went 3-for-3 to lead his team, which had 10 hits. The Hawks also got a 2-for-3 effort from Ryan Donahue, who drove in a run.

In another North Shore game Monday, Port Washington lost to Cedarburg, 15-3.

Cedarburg scored in five innings, including five-run outbursts in the second and fifth, and never trailed.

Host Port pulled within 7-3 after four innings but couldn’t keep pace with the Bulldogs, who pounded out 15 hits.

Alex Nuelk led Cedarburg with a 4-for-5 effort and two RBI. Nick Boehnlein was 2-for-5 with five RBI, including a three-run homer in the second.

Nick Godersky pitched the first four innings for the Pirates and took the loss. He led his team offensively by going 2-for-3 and scoring twice.

Taylor Piel pitched a complete game for the win, scattering nine hits. He struck out 10 and walked one.

Cedarburg improved to 2-2 in league play. Port fell to 1-4.

In Central Lakeshore Conference play Monday, Ozaukee blanked Oostburg, 15-0, in a game called after six innings.

The Warriors pulled away by scoring five runs in the fourth and seven in the sixth.

Ozaukee’s 11-hit attack was led by Zach Beck, who went 3-for-5. Jim d’Angelo, Nick Dupey and Alex Janke each had two hits.

The Warriors improved to 4-2 in the conference. Oostburg fell to 1-4.

Also on Monday, Cedar Grove-Belgium was edged by host Plymouth, 7-6, in a nonconference game.

The Panthers scored the winning run on a throwing error after Cedar Grove-Belgium rallied from a 6-2 deficit.

Kyle Kirst and Max Strehlow were each 2-for-3 for the Rockets, and Josh Ruppel was 2-for-4.

 
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