Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:56
Failure to check Muskego rushing attack saddles Port with frustrating loss in opener
The methodical game plan of a run-happy opponent threw the Port Washington football team for a loss last Friday.
Although the host Pirates generated plenty of offense, they had few answers defensively on the way to a 42-20 loss to Muskego in their season opener.
“Our defense has to pick it up. We didn’t play well as a unit,” Port coach Tim Greisch said after seeing his team struggle to stop the Warriors’ rushing attack.
Content to stay on the ground, Muskego rolled up 416 yards in 52 carries, accounting for all of its offense. The Warriors attempted just two passes, both of which fell incomplete, but had little reason to go airborne.
The one-two punch of tailback Jordan Gruettner and fullback Luke Przybylka did virtually all the work for the visitors.
When Przybylka wasn’t busy pounding the ball inside, Gruettner caught the Pirates out of step on the corners, finishing with 236 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries.
Przybylka collected 174 yards and two scores on 32 carries.
Gruettner did most of his damage in the third quarter, sprinting for two touchdowns that put his team in control.
After Muskego took a 21-14 lead into halftime, Gruettner broke loose for a 59-yard scoring run, taking the handoff from quarterback Adam Schulz after an inside fake to Przybylka. On their
next possession, the Warriors duplicated the play, with Gruettner weaving through tacklers on a 21-yard touchdown scamper that made it 35-14.
“It wasn’t anything tricky. We just lost our assignments,” Greisch said of the defensive breakdowns.
“They had success gashing us with their fullback, and when we crashed down inside, they just faked it there and went outside. They executed their fakes well, and we over-reacted.”
To their credit, the Pirates kept battling. They cracked the Muskego defense for 316 total yards, including 190 rushing on 36 carries.
Senior Alex Multerer led the way with 95 yards and two touchdowns on 11 rushes. His biggest play was a 53-yard scoring burst midway through the second quarter that pulled Port into a 14-14 tie.
Quarterback Taylor Devenport also sparked the Pirates with his legs and throwing arm. In addition to rushing for 69 yards, he tossed an 84-yard touchdown pass to Joe McIlree for Port’s first score.
For the game, Devenport completed five of 14 passes for 126 yards. Split end Luke Schueller had three catches for 34 yards.
“Offensively, we did some nice things,” Greisch said. “We blocked well, Taylor ran and passed well, and Alex ran hard inside.
“But it was hard to keep coming back when we couldn’t stop them defensively. We have a lot of young players, and it’s a learning experience for them.”
Muskego never had to punt and didn’t commit a turnover.
Despite their problems, the Pirates had a chance to pull even in the final minute of the first half. On first down from his own 20, Devenport broke free on a keeper, spun away from several defenders and raced all the way to the Muskego 26 before being caught on a touchdown-saving tackle.
Port called a timeout to set up a play, but when Devenport’s pass for Schueller in the end zone was broken up, time expired with Muskego’s seven-point lead intact.
“We wanted to take a quick shot at the end zone, but we didn’t get it done in time,” Greisch said.
“We talked about trying a field goal, but our holder was injured, so we went for the touchdown.”
The Pirates never got any closer in the second half, as Muskego tacked on three unanswered touchdowns. Port’s final score came on a 2-yard touchdown run by Multerer in the final minute.
This Friday, Port will continue nonconference play with another tough test, traveling to Westosha Central for a 7 p.m. game.
When the teams met last year in Port, Central won, 20-0.
PORT WASHINGTON quarterback Taylor Devenport spun free of a tackler as he scrambled for yardage in Friday’s season opener against Muskego. After a close first half, Muskego pulled away for a 42-20 win. Photo by Sam Arendt
Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:52
Penalty-kick victories give Grafton boys‘ soccer team top honors at Kettle Moraine Lutheran Invitational
High drama left members of the Grafton boys’ soccer team smiling at the Kettle Moraine Lutheran Invitational last Saturday.
Although the Black Hawks couldn’t secure a win in regulation in either of their two games, they still walked away with first-place honors.
A pair of shootout victories did the trick, including a 3-2 penalty-kick edge over Shoreland Lutheran that decided the championship of the four-game tournament.
“It was a good experience to get these kind of wins because the guys had to respond under pressure,” Grafton coach Don Arnold said.
“You’d like to win the game outright, but never know when you’re going to have to go to a shootout later in the season. It’s good to know you can come through like that.”
Last year, the Hawks played two scoreless games at the same tournament only to fall each time in a shootout. On Saturday, they downed Lutheran when Austin Kearns, Wolfgang Pilarski and
Nick Markworth converted penalty kicks.
Goalkeeper Austin Mertes stopped Lutheran’s fourth and final shot to seal the victory.
The shootout capped a tense game in which both teams failed to convert scoring chances in regulation, which was shortened to two 35-minute periods.
In the semifinals, the Hawks battled Kettle Moraine Lutheran to a 2-2 deadlock through regulation before winning a 5-4 shootout.
The Chargers scored first in the 23rd minute, but Grafton pulled even two minutes later on an unassisted goal by Nick Bocanegra.
The Hawks took a 2-1 lead on Martin Olavarrieta’s goal, assisted by Wes Moorhead, in the 34th minute. However, Kettle Moraine Lutheran pulled even at 62 minutes.
The shootout wasn’t decided until freshman keeper Killian Mielotz stopped the Chargers’ final penalty kick. Converting shots for Grafton were Kearns, Michael Salm, Markworth, Alex Konop and Alex Lorbecki.
Both teams missed their third attempts.
“It was really nice to come home with a championship,” Arnold said. “The guys worked hard against two good teams.”
Because regular-season shootouts are counted as ties, the tournament left Grafton with a 1-2-2 overall record heading into a North Shore Conference game Tuesday against Cedarburg.
The Hawks will continue play this week with 7 p.m. nonconference games at West Bend East on Thursday and at home against University School on Friday.
Slinger 3, Grafton 2
The Hawks rallied after falling behind by two goals in the 59th minute but came up short in a nonconference road game Aug. 25.
After Slinger grabbed a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute, Grafton countered with an unassisted goal by Willie McElligott at 53 minutes. However, the Owls quickly scored twice, including a penalty-kick goal in the 59th minute, to build a 3-1 edge.
Josh Bunzel had Slinger’s third goal.
Grafton’s final goal came from Olavarrieta in the 61st minute.
“Slinger is not a bad team at all and played us tough,” Arnold said. “We got scored on early and played catch-up the rest of the game.”
Grafton 2, Homestead 1
A determined road performance gave the Hawks a key win in their North Shore Conference opener Aug. 24.
After being frustrated by a number of losses to Homestead in recent years, as well as a 1-1 tie last season, Grafton took control this time.
Bocanegra’s goal in the 36th minute put the Hawks up, 1-0, at halftime. Kevin Wegner scored on a header in the 73rd minute to make it 2-0 before Homestead answered with a goal by Eric
Stemmeler at 78 minutes.
The Hawks hung on in the waning seconds to secure the win, which gives them an early edge on a perennial NSC title contender.
“It was huge, big, gigantic, however you want to describe it,” Arnold said of the victory. “There’s no question that a win like this is crucial in the conference.”
The only downside for Grafton was the loss of sophomore forward Jake Kellett, who was sidelined after sustaining a leg injury early in the game. He is expected to be out at least four weeks, Arnold said.
Germantown 5, Port Washington 1
Almost nothing went right for the Pirates Aug. 24 when they opened North Shore Conference play with a lackluster home loss.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute, Germantown added a three-goal flurry from the 26th through 31st minutes and held a 4-0 edge at halftime.
“We played very, very tentative soccer and made some stupid mistakes,” Port coach Mike Bultman said.
“Germantown is a good team. When we got caught out of position, they put their shots away.”
The Pirates, who fell to 1-3 overall, averted a shutout when Alex Bello scored in the 60th minute.
The Warhawks answered that with a goal despite being down to 10 players after a red card was issued.
“It was out of character for us to play that poorly,” Bultman said. “Hopefully, we will learn from it.”
Port faced Nicolet on Tuesday and will continue NSC play Sept. 7 with a 7 p.m. game at Whitefish Bay.
Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 25 August 2010 17:31
Tough weather, opponents relegate Port soccer team to 4th place at season-opening Early Bird Invitational
Heat, inexperience and tough opposition combined to take a toll on the Port Washington boys’ soccer team in a season-opening tournament last weekend.
After scoring a shutout win in their opening game of the Early Bird Invitational in Mukwonago on Friday, the Pirates were handed a pair of losses Saturday.
They capped the road trip with a 2-1 loss to Wisconsin Rapids in the third-place final of the eight-team tournament.
“We’re still looking at a lot of positions and who’s going to play where,” Port coach Mike Bultman said. “We have a young team, and our inexperience showed.
“We played pretty well, but I think the heat and the numbers got to us by the last game.”
A senior-led Rapids team scored two goals on counterattacks to build a 2-0 lead by halftime.
Alex Bello, a junior forward, got the Pirates on the board with a second-period goal.
“We were pretty beat by the end of the game,” Bultman said. “Rapids has 12 seniors, and I have nine sophomores, so they had an edge on us experience-wise, too.”
Port opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over Burlington in a weather-shortened quarterfinal game.
David Cornell put the Pirates up for good in the 20th minute when he scored on a corner kick that curved to the near post and eluded the keeper.
Ten minutes into the second period, Marcus Lackovic doubled the lead with a 35-foot blast that deflected off the crossbar and the keeper before reaching the net.
The match was scheduled to last 60 minutes but was called with five minutes left due to stormy conditions.
“We pretty much outplayed Burlington throughout the game,” Bultman said. “It was a good way to start the tournament.”
In Saturday’s semifinals, the Pirates ran into a talented Madison East squad that saddled them with a 3-0 loss. The Purgolders pulled away from a scoreless first half to win easily and went on
to take the tournament title.
“East has an older group with a lot of seniors and took advantage of our inexperience,” Bultman said. “They got two goals coming down the outside in a five or six-minute period when we were caught out of position.”
When the Pirates pressed forward to get back in the game, East countered and drew a foul. A long free kick led to a goal on a follow-up shot that capped the scoring.
This week, Port opened its North Shore Conference schedule Tuesday against Germantown. The Pirates will continue NSC play Aug. 31 with a 7 p.m. home game against Nicolet.
Bultman said he will continue to shuffle players in an effort to find the strongest lineup. That challenge may have been eased with the addition of a transfer player from England.
Shaun Watson, a junior forward who moved to the United States and played on a Mequon club team this spring, joined the Pirates last week and could soon be in the starting lineup, Bultman said.
“I think he has the skills to help us,” he said.
Catholic Memorial 2, Grafton 1
The Black Hawks grabbed an early lead but faded in the second half of a nonconference season opener in Waukesha on Aug. 18.
Wolfgang Pilarski, a sophomore midfielder, put Grafton ahead with a goal in the 17th minute. He scored off a pass from Jacob Kellett on a counterattack.
“Wolfgang made a great run and got a nice feed for the score,” Grafton coach Don Arnold said. “It was a good start for us.”
In the second period, though, Catholic Memorial cashed in on defensive breakdowns by the Hawks and found the net twice. A goal by Ryan Allen in the 66th minute tied the game, and Mark
Samuel provided the winner at 73:19.
“We had some lapses that led to both of their goals,” Arnold said. “That’s going to happen at this point of the season when we’re trying to work on a new defensive system.
“It’s a learning experience for our guys.”
This week, the Hawks opened North Shore Conference play Tuesday against Homestead. They were scheduled to play a 7 p.m. nonconference game Wednesday at Slinger and will participate in a four-team tournament at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Grafton will then resume NSC play by hosting Cedarburg at 7 p.m. Aug. 31.
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