Port soccer holds first two foes scoreless

Grafton misses out on offensive opportunities in going 1-1 to begin the year

PORT WASHINGTON’S MADISON ZWICKER scored the Pirates’ only goal in its season-opening victory at Homestead last week. Port is 1-0-1 on the season. File photo
Ozaukee Press staff

The Port Washington girls’ soccer team came inches from earning its second victory in as many tries to start the season.

The Pirates tied Oshkosh North, 0-0, in a nonconference game April 12 on the road, but Port could have easily put up a crooked number.

But field size and conditions impacted how the Pirates were able to execute.

“The Oshkosh North game was ours to finish. I truly believe that if that game were played on grass, or if the dimensions were narrower, that we win,” Coach Eric Liebergen said.

“The spacing and the speed of play was drastically different than our first game.”

Still, the Pirates had scoring chances barely bounce away.

“We squandered lots of good looks. We hit the crossbar within the first five minutes that the keeper had no chance on. In the last 15 minutes, we missed a penalty kick for a foul in the box,” Liebergen said.

But the Pirates’ defense stood tall. Junior goalie Kaytlin Kassens posted her second straight shutout of the season.

“Again our defense got the shutout, so that’s encouraging,” Liebergen said.

“The experience is valuable for us, as we will have other turf games this season.”

In their North Shore Conference opener April 10 at Homestead, the Pirates earned a 1-0 victory.

Junior midfielder Madison Zwicker scored on a 20-yard free kick in the 33rd minute thanks to a handball penalty by the Highlanders.

“I thought we came out and played with a lot of energy,” Liebergen said.

“It was our first game of the year, so we were prepared to make lots of adjustments. The girls connected really well and put plenty of pressure on Homestead’s defense.”

The defense put up a goose egg to start the year.

“It was admirable that Kaytlin and the back line kept a zero on the board.  Homestead never really got a good look at our goal, and eventually settled for longer shots,” Liebergen said.

“Ella Schmit, Madelyn Wehner, Makayla Masse, Katie Tyree and Natalie Lippe all assisted Kassens in preserving the shutout.”

After last Thursday, Mother Nature shut out Port, preventing the Pirates from even taking the field. Nonconference games against Kohler on Saturday and Oostburg on Monday were canceled, and Tuesday’s game at NSC opponent Whitefish Bay was canceled and will likely be made up.

“We went from preparing to play four games in a five-day span, to suddenly having nothing,” Liebergen said.

Port’s next game, weather pending, is Thursday at nonconference foe Kewaskum, followed by an NSC game against Nicolet on April 24 at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.

After a season-opening victory against new NSC rival West Bend West, Grafton’s soccer team dropped a 1-0 decision Thursday at Wauwatosa West in a game that was played much differently than the final score looked.

“We probably had 70% of the play and kept the ball in their half. We created some chances and didn’t finish,” coach Don Arnold said.

One goal was called back due to an offsides penalty that could have opened the floodgates, he said.

“If that one counts, the whole momentum changes,” Arnold said.

The Hawks allowed a goal 15 minutes into the game, but their approach never changed.

“Even after we gave up the goal, our focus was there,” Arnold said.

Goalie Corbin Woessner made three saves. Claire Kosidowski had four shots on goal, and Hailey Block and Malaya Sperber each had three.

“The positive thing is we played fantastic. You walk away from that game scratching your head.”

A day earlier, the Hawks found the back of the net in a 4-2 victory against West at the Milwaukee School of Engineering field.

Sperber got the party started with a goal on an assist from Kosidowski at the 20-minute mark. Less than three minutes later, Block scored on assists from Laura Stockhausen and Gretchen Geiser.

West answered two minutes later, but Block made it 3-1 with an unassisted goal in the 42nd minute.

In the second half, Geiser scored unassisted in the 61st minute, and West got its second goal from Camryn Waechter in the 84th minute.

One of West’s goals came on a free kick and another on a miscommunication, Arnold said.

Offensively, the Hawks played well but could have done better.

“We played OK. We had our spurts where we were able to create some good opportunities. Hailey Block was very dangerous. Malaya up on top did a nice job,” Arnold said.

“We struggled to finish. We could have shot a few more in.”

The Hawks don’t get a home game this season since the soccer field is being reseeded.

“There’s a lot of bus time, a lot of bouncing down the road. I think the girls are taking it in stride,” Arnold said.

While the team will bond by spending more time together, Arnold said it is disappointing that community members don’t get to see a home game.

“Bite the bullet now. It will pay dividends once the field is in there,” he said.



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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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