Oregon faces tough opening foe in its fourth consecutive trip to WIAA state girls soccer tournament
What: The 36th WIAA state girls soccer tournament.
When: Thursday through Saturday.
Where: Uihlein Soccer Park, 7101 W. Good Hope Road, Milwaukee.
Tickets, parking: Tickets will be sold at the gate, at $8 per session or $1 for children age 6 or younger. Parking at the facility is available for a fee.
On the air: All semifinals will be streamed live on the WIAA.tv portal of the NFHS Network on a subscription basis. Saturday’s championship games will be aired live on Fox Sports Wisconsin or Fox Sports Wisconsin Plus, and streamed live on the Fox Sports Go app.
On the Web: Schedules, results, box scores, tournament history and additional information can be found at www.wiaawi.org/Sports/GirlsSoccer.aspx
Last year’s finals: Division 1 — Brookfield Central 3, Bay Port 0. Division 2 — Whitefish Bay 5, Wauwatosa East 1. Division 3 — Waukesha Catholic Memorial 3, Winneconne 0. Division 4 — Brookfield Academy 1, Hartland Lake Country Lutheran/University Lake School 0.
(Seedings, records in parentheses)
Division 2 semifinals
(1) Brookfield Central (16-1-1) vs. (4) River Falls (16-2-2), 11 a.m.
(3) Oregon (11-3-6) vs. (2) New Berlin Eisenhower (18-2-1), 1:30 p.m.
Division 1 semifinals
(1) Sheboygan North (20-1-1) vs. (4) Muskego (13-3-2), 4:30 p.m.
(2) Bay Port (22-1-0) vs. Wales Kettle Moraine (10-2-5), 7 p.m.
Division 4 semifinals
(4) Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld (12-4-0) vs. (1) Cedar Grove-Belgium (15-1-1), 11 a.m.
(2) Eau Claire Regis/Chippewa Falls McDonell (15-3-0) vs. (3) Kenosha St. Joseph (15-5-1), 1:30 p.m.
Division 3 semifinals
(1) Waukesha Catholic Memorial (20-2-2) vs. (4) Rice Lake (9-9-3), 4:30 p.m.
(3) Belleville/New Glarus (18-0-1) vs. (2) Green Bay Notre Dame (15-5-1), 7 p.m.
11:05 a.m.: Division 2 final
1:35 p.m.: Division 1 final
4:35 p.m.: Division 4 final
7:05 p.m.: Division 3 final
Sheboygan North (16-1-1) is playing in its first state tournament, and has drawn the No. 1 seeding beating Kimberly (in a shootout) and Hartland Arrowhead (2-1 in overtime) in sectional play. Coach Tim Eirich’s Golden Raiders, ranked third by the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association, won the Fox River Classic title. They have a 16-game unbeaten streak, having lost only to Division 3 power Waukesha Catholic Memorial, 2-1. The Golden Raiders have 14 shutouts and have allowed only nine goals all year. Senior midfielder McKayla Kertscher has 13 goals and 11 assists, and senior forward Mallory Veeser has scored a team-best 15 goals with five assists.
Muskego (13-3-2) has qualified for state for the fifth consecutive year, but has lost in the semifinals in each of its previous four visits. Coach Lance Matthews’ 10th-ranked Warriors finished sixth in the Classic 8 Conference but have won five straight, including a 3-0 win over Kenosha Bradford/Reuther in a sectional final. Junior forward Mackenzie Balcerak has 18 goals and seven assists.
Bay Port (22-1), ranked No. 1 by the state coaches, earned the No. 2 seeding in the tournament field. A 1-0 loss to Sheboygan North forced the Pirates to settle for second in the Fox River Classic Conference. Coach Brooke Mraz’s team has recorded 13 shutouts and allowed 16 goals all year. Senior forward Erika Hess has 34 goals and 12 assists, and sophomore Emma Nagel has 12 goals and 22 assists. Senior goaltender Gabby Noack has a 0.63 goals-against average.
Wales Kettle Moraine (10-2-5) took third in the Classic 8 Conference, but beat Sun Prairie and Janesville Craig in sectional play to earn its first state trip and second since a runner-up finish in 2015. Coach Rob Lestina’s fifth-ranked Lasers lost their regular-season finale to Hartland Arrowhead after an early loss to Whitefish Bay. Senior forward Blair Cruikshank, the daughter of Olympic speedskater Bonnie Blair, leads the offense with 17 goals and one assist; junior forward Callie Haertle has 10 goals and six assists.
Oregon (11-3-6) has advanced to state for the fourth consecutive year, earning the championship in 2015 and a runner-up finish in 2016. Coach Julie Grutzner is in her 13th and final year as the Panthers’ coach. Oregon, ranked 10th, tied Madison Edgewood for the Badger South Conference title and beat Waunakee, 1-0, in a sectional final. The defense, led by 6-foot junior Sydney McKee, has allowed 12 goals all year, with 10 shutouts including four in a row. Sophomore forward Avary Fanning leads the offense with 13 goals and five assists, and sophomore Melia Moyer has a 0.63 goals-against average.
New Berlin Eisenhower (18-2-1), champion of the Woodland West Conference, lost two of its first four games, to Wauwatosa West and Waukesha Catholic Memorial. Coach Nick Datka’s third-ranked Lions have a 17-game unbeaten streak after a 3-1 victory over Waukesha West in a sectional final. West’s goal ended a run of eight consecutive shutouts for Eisenhower, which has a total of 15 shutouts and has allowed eight goals all year. Senior Kayla Jedrzejewski has 23 goals and 10 assists, and senior Ava Seibert has a 0.35 goals-against average.
Brookfield Central (16-1-1) won the Division 1 state title last year, but the school dropped to Division 2 status this year. That meant a sectional showdown between coach Daniel Makal’s second-ranked Lancers and first-ranked Whitefish Bay, the defending Division 2 champ. Bay beat Central, 3-2, in the final regular-season game, but Central exacted revenge with a 2-1 win in the sectional final. With sophomore Maggie Doyle in goal, the Lancers have eight shutouts and have given up 16 goals all year. Senior forward Emma Staszkiewicz leads the Lancers with 26 goals and five assists, and senior Jenny Cape has 13 goals and 16 assists.
River Falls (16-2-2), runner-up in the Big Rivers Conference, earned its second state trip and first since 2011 with a 2-0 sectional win over Pulaski. Coach Charles Conley’s Wildcats have won eight straight, including seven straight shutouts, after back-to-back losses to Big Rivers champ Eau Claire Memorial. The Wildcats have 13 shutouts on the year, with senior Kiera LaCroix in goal, and have allowed seven goals in games not against Memorial. Sophomore Ella Durocher has 20 goals and nine assists.
Belleville/New Glarus (18-0-1), ranked eighth in the state, won the Capitol Conference title and earned its second state trip in the last three years with a 1-0 sectional final win over third-ranked Madison Edgewood. Coach John Ziperski’s Sugar River Raiders tied Mount Horeb midway through the season, but beat the Vikings, 3-2, in a sectional semifinal. The Raiders’ defense, led by junior goalkeeper Rachael Heittola, has more shutouts (11) than goals allowed (nine) on the year. Senior midfielder Kalin O’Rourke has 26 goals and five assists.
Green Bay Notre Dame (15-5-1), ranked second, earned its 11th state trip and third in the last four years with a 2-1 win over Plymouth in a sectional final. Aside from two early losses to Illinois teams, the Tritons’ only losses came to state qualifiers Brookfield Central, Sheboygan North and Bay Port. Coach Bob Rickards’ team has gotten 33 goals and 12 assists from senior Grace Shaw and 23 goals and 21 assists from senior Trudy Quidzinski. The defense has produced 11 shutouts, led by sophomore goalkeeper Alana Bergin.
Waukesha Catholic Memorial (20-2-2), ranked No. 1, has won six consecutive state championships, two in Division 2 and the last four in Division 3. Veteran coach John Burke’s Crusaders have earned 10 state titles and two runner-up finishes over the last 14 years. Memorial, champion of the Classic 8 Conference, lost two of its first four games and has a 19-match unbeaten streak, blemished only by a 1-1 draw with Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels in the regular-season finale. The team total of 16 shutouts includes all four WIAA tournament games, with senior Lili Berg in goal. Sophomore Lauren Brown has 21 goals and 15 assists for the Crusaders, and junior Abby Piette has 18 goals and 11 assists.
Rice Lake (9-9-3) beat Ashland and Rhinelander by matching 2-1 scores to earn its second consecutive state trip, despite a sixth-place finish in the Big Rivers Conference. Coach Nick Merkt’s Warriors have gotten 13 goals and two assists from Ella Weber. The defense has produced only three shutouts.
Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld (12-4-0) earned its first-ever state berth with a 1-0 victory over 2017 state runner-up Hartland Lake Country Lutheran/University Lake School in a sectional final. Coach Bartlett Holmes’ Vanguards finished third in the Capitol Conference. The defense, led by senior goalkeeper Destinee Schmidt, has produced six shutouts and allowed an average of one goal per game. Sophomore Kassidy Frame has seven goals and two assists.
Cedar Grove-Belgium (15-1-1), ranked fourth in the state, advanced with a 1-0 victory over top-ranked Oostburg in a sectional final to earn the No. 1 seeding in the state field in its first-ever state trip. Coach Elias Garza’s Rockets took second behind Oostburg in the Big East Conference. Twelve of the Rockets’ 17 games have ended in shutouts, and the team has allowed only six goals all year. Senior forward Jessica Rose has 17 goals and 13 assists to lead the offense, and senior forward Brittany Teunissen and sophomore midfielder Abby Krause each have 36 points on 15 and 16 goals, respectively.
Kenosha St. Joseph (15-5-1), ranked seventh, finished second to Racine St. Catherine’s in the Metro Classic Conference, but avenged a regular-season loss to the Angels with a 3-2 win in a sectional final. Coach Edgar Espinoza’s Lancers are making their first state appearance. Sophomore forward Katherine Hamm has 25 goals and 10 assists, and sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Alia has 23 goals and 11 assists. The defense has produced eight shutouts.
Eau Claire Regis/Chippewa Falls McDonell (15-3-0), not a member of a conference, took a 2-1 victory over third-ranked La Crosse Aquinas in a sectional final to earn its first state berth. Coach Scott Hoffmann’s Ramblers lost twice to Ashland and once to Franklin during the regular season and have earned nine shutout victories. Senior Payton Swoboda has 24 goals and nine assists.