Port, Grafton soccer players stand out in NSC

McKinney, Zwicker and Riddle honored in league that sent two teams to the Division 2 state tourney

By MITCH MAERSCH

Ozaukee Press staff

The Port Washington and Grafton high school girls’ soccer teams finished at or near the bottom of the North Shore Conference, but three players rose toward the top in their respective positions.

Port junior Meghan Zwicker was named to the North Shore Conference second team. It’s the first time a Pirate has earned that high  an honor since coach Kyle Quintell arrived three years ago. In 2019, it was Madison Zwicker, one of Meghan’s relatives, who was named to the second team.

Meghan had eight goals and six assists on the season and was one of the Pirates’ offensive firestarters.

Quintell said Zwicker broke through lines and excelled in one-on-one situations. He is thrilled to have her back next season.

“She’s going to be huge. She is one who’s very passionate about the game and super coachable,” he said.

Quintell said he likes helping Zwicker improve her soccer I.Q. and tactics. Playing in the offseason is a boost.

“You can kind of see the growth over the past two seasons,” Quintell said. “She has already improved from last January playing club.”

Defender Bethany McKinney earned honorable mention.

“I thought she should have been second team but it’s challenging in the North Shore,” Quintell said.

McKinney had two goals, but her real value was her versatility.

“She is a player who will ultimately do whatever is needed for her team and the program,” Quintell said.

“She’s not afraid of being aggressive or winning a head ball in the air.”

McKinney has been a captain for two years, “a great leader every coach loves to have,” Quintell said.

Grafton’s keeper Arden Riddle earned honorable mention after keeping the Black Hawks in games and sometimes single-handedly preventing blowouts.

Riddle had 180 saves — averaging 18 per game — with three clean sheets, including two in the conference, coach Greg Springman said.

Her 85% save percentage was second best in the NSC, he said.

Port had a couple of other players Quintell hoped to land honors but fell short.

Sophomore Lainey Holmes had eight goals and four assists, playing striker for nearly the entire second half of the season.

Senior center back and midfielder Camdyn Melin had four goals and will play Division II soccer at Southern Wesleyan University.

Port finished 1-6-1 in the North Shore Conference and tied with West Bend East/West for seventh of eight teams. Grafton was last at 0-5-3. Port’s win came over West Bend, 3-0. Grafton and Port tied, 0-0.

Whitefish Bay won the conference at 6-0-2. Cedarburg and Homestead were next at 6-1-1, and Nicolet was 6-2.

Whitefish Bay and Cedarburg advanced to the state tournament, with Cedarburg losing to Oregon, 5-0, in the Division 2 semifinals and Whitefish Bay losing to Oregon, 1-0, in the finals.

Oregon (22-0-1) finished the season ranked No. 1 in the country in the final United Soccer Coaches poll of the season.

ν In other soccer news, Grafton’s Greg Dempsey was selected to the all-academic state first team and Jordan Walton was named honorable mention.

Among the team’s criteria are a 3.85 grade-point average; four years of high school soccer experience, including two on varsity; at least a 29 composite score on the ACT; and certification from the coach and athletic director that the player has exhibited exemplary sportsmanship.

Eighty percent of selections are based on academics, 10% on service work and 10% on soccer accomplishments.

Dempsey, Grafton’s salutatorian, was among 11 senior boys chosen for the accolade.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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