Tough battles go CG-Belgium soccer’s way

Rockets knock off Random Lake and KML; Ozaukee shows strong effort in one of two games
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

A blowout victory on paper was harder than it looked and doubling up another foe took a physical effort for the Cedar Grove-Belgium High School girls’ soccer team last week.

The Rockets knocked off Big East Conference foe Random Lake on the road, 6-0, last Thursday and Kettle Moraine Lutheran, 4-2, at home on Friday.

The Rockets took a 2-0 halftime lead on the Rams before adding four more to put the game away in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

“We were made to work for our goals. Their goalkeeper, Cat Pieper, is a Division 1 college soccer recruit and was a big obstacle for our group. It took us around 13 minutes to break the deadlock and only went into halftime at 2-0, largely due to her immense performance in goal,” coach Zac Garza said.

“This was more of a team effort in that so many players were guilty of missing golden opportunities in the first half and you could sense the frustration within the team. We continued to persevere and create chances until we were able to put the game to bed.”

Freshman Cora Erickson had four goals, and freshman Aubrey Marti and junior Alexis Bahr each had one. Bahr and sophomore Hailey Prom each had two assists, and Erickson and Marti each had one.

The Rockets improved to 3-1 in the Big East and are in third place behind Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah (3-1-1) and Oostburg (3-0-1). The Rams went to 0-4 in the Big East.

Against KML, the Rockets again took a 2-0 halftime lead.

Marti scored first on a short pass from Erickson that put the ball in front of her. Bahr scored from 20 yards out on a “beautiful top 90 shot” from Kahleah Knight, Garza said.

“I think the gals were definitely up for the KML match early. It was youth night and there was a fantastic crowd and atmosphere surrounding the match.”

The second half was a little different.

Erickson scored on a breakaway on a pass from Lizzie Luebke three minutes in, but KML came back with two goals.

“KML was a very physical team and that can throw some of the younger players off a bit,” Garza said. “Credit to KML for clawing their way back into the match, and they put us under some intense physical pressure. We continued to create chances, but it was a very physically demanding game.”

Erickson scored the final goal “with a highlight solo run” with five minutes left. She and Marti played a give and go before Erickson cut outside one defender and inside another via a nutmeg — sending the ball through the legs of a KML defender  — then slotted the ball into the bottom right corner with her left foot, Garza said.

The Rockets got a boost in getting defender Grace Gauger back from an injured ankle.

“She is a player that is always up for a physical battle, and it will be nice to see some experience and depth return to our core in the back,” Garza said.

Erickson remains second in the state in scoring with 27 goals. Taylor Schad of Kiel has 42, according to wissports.net. The Rockets lost at Kiel on April 8. Schad had five goals and Erickson had an assist.

“Cora has continued to develop and evolve in our attacking group, and we have started to see a different side of her over the past week or two. She is a player that is just so incredibly hungry for goals and she is so efficient when she does take shots,” Garza said.

“She is finishing around 40% of her shots, which is just unbelievable. I think the most important thing for us is that she fits in so well with our attacking group of players. You can see the way Alexis, Aubrey, Hailey (Prom), and Cora all combine and play to create chances for each other. Fifty-three goals between four players is pretty insane, especially considering that group consists of a junior, a sophomore, and two freshmen.”

Ozaukee drops two games

Ozaukee lost two road games on May 2 and 3.

The Warriors lost at Central Wisconsin Christian, 3-1, on May 2.

Madie Prom scored Ozaukee’s goal in the 51st minute.

The Warriors had 10 shots on goal.

Ozaukee keeper Izzy Decker had 16 saves.

“We switched up our defensive formation that they took to really well. They were communicating well,” coach Brian Kurlinski said.

On offense, however, “We were slow to the ball and passing was not the best.”

The Warriors lost, 1-0, at Kohler on May 3 in a frustrating contest.

“We literally beat ourselves up in this game,” Kurlinski said.

Ozaukee, 1-5 overall and 0-4 in the Big East, was to host Howards Grove (3-1 Big East) on Tuesday and play at Oostburg (3-0-1) on Thursday, May 12. They host Random Lake at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 17.

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