Soccer teams run into buzz saws


BEN HUGHES LOOKED to boot a ball in a 4-0 loss to North Shore Conference opponent Nicolet on Sept. 11. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

It was a rough week for Port Washington and Grafton high schools’ soccer teams in the incredibly difficult North Shore Conference, and that wasn’t counting the mosquitoes.

The Pirates lost to Nicolet, 4-0, on Sept. 11; and Cedarburg, 1-0, on Sept. 13.

“It’s brutal,” coach Sean  O’Brien said of NSC competition.

Against Cedarburg, Port was missing Jake Markiewicz and Tanner Sauer to injuries, and Alex Poull was out sick.

O’Brien had to move some players around, and he was impressed with the results.

Wyatt and Carson Roller played big minutes, and Charlie Neitzke played well. Thomas Garant moved to  midfield.

“It’s one of those things when you know you have to be at your best, guys step up,” O’Brien said.

The Bulldogs didn’t score until the 73rd minute on a long ball that trickled past a diving Caleb Thies, who was shielded from seeing the shot until it was too late.

“We had them frustrated a little bit. We had some opportunities,” O’Brien said.

“It was one of our best team efforts. The guys played with a lot of energy and a lot of heart. Now they know what it takes to compete in the North Shore.”

Against Nicolet, Port gave up a goal in the 25th minute, another just 90 seconds into the second half and then another.

“Before we blinked, it was 3-0,” O’Brien said.

Port was to host Hartford on Tuesday and play at Slinger on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Grafton lost to Homestead, 6-0, on Sept. 11, and hung with nationally ranked Whitefish Bay in a 2-1 loss on Sept. 13.

Against Bay, Max Stilb scored “one of the best goals you’re ever going to see” with seconds left in the game, coach Don Arnold said.

Off a corner kick, the Blue Dukes got a touch and Stilb took the ball from about 40 yards out.

“He took a touch to his left and hit a screaming bending shot with his left foot that hit the corner of the goal  — about 35 yards,” Arnold said.

Bay scored twice in the first half on hard shots.

“We didn’t give up — 2-0, you try to come back. They stood up to them and they played hard. For our guys, hopefully they understand if they play hard and defend as a team, they have opportunities to compete,” Arnold said.
He praised Isaiah Voiland in goal.
“He had a tremendous game, especially in the second half, quick reactions,” Arnold said.
Against the Highlanders, Grafton allowed three quick goals that took the life out of the Hawks.
Grafton is scheduled to host its first game of the season after its field was reseeded. Nicolet comes to town for a 7 p.m. game. Grafton is set to host Cedarburg on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

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