Homestead girls soccer
The defending state runner-up Highlanders are off to a fast start, ranked second in early season state polls and winners of their first two tilts.
They downed Waukesha West, 3-0, on March 30, after downing Mukwonago, 1-0, on March 29.
The Highlanders, who fell to Verona, 2-0, in the state final last season, are coming off a 20-4-3 North Shore Conference championship season.
They are led by senior co-captains Aubrey Quick (midfielder) and Lindsay Jagla (defender). Jagla had the winning overtime goal in the state semifinal over DSHA last season.
Other seniors on the Highlanders squad include goalie Emily Jakubiak, midfielders Claire Lindsay, Olivia Tehan (20 goals and eight assists last year), Caitlin West and Emily Haefner and forward Kim McGinnis.
Others looking to play large roles include freshmen Brooke Szafranski (defender), forward Shannon Greeley (forward) and Katie Cavanaugh (forward) along with junior midfielders Kate Wirthlin, Molly Hobbs and Zoe Ziegler (12 goals and four assists).
The Highlanders are second to DSHA in state polls while North Shore rivals Bay (sixth) and Cedarburg (eighth) are also in the top 10.
In the win over South, Homestead got goals from Szafranski, Cavanaugh and Wirthlin while in the victory over Mukwonago, Hobbs scored the only goal.
Homestead will open North Shore play at home against Grafton at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Grafton, a state qualifier a year ago, received votes in the first state poll.
Whitefish Bay girls soccer
The Blue Dukes showed plenty of offense in winning their opener, 5-2, against Slinger on March 29.
Bay finished at 17-6-4 last season and have many reasons to be optimistic this spring including junior forward Abby Starker (28 goals and 17 assists). She is recovered from a knee injury suffered in a sectional loss to DSHA last season. Bay has lost to DSHA in sectional play three years running.
Others who will help the Blue Dukes include senior midfielder Lydia Kaminsky (19 goals and 12 assists), senior defender Kelsey Corrigan and senior goalkeeper Sarah Platzer.
Other seniors on the large (24-member) varsity include forwards Michaela Cohen and Talia Dacquisto and defender Katherine Matkom.
Coach Robert Williams is keeping seven sophomores and five freshmen on his varsity. Included among the freshmen is back-up goalie Maya Jonas, who was an all-conference forward for the state-qualifying girls' basketball team this winter.
Kaminsky had a goal and two assists in the win over Slinger, while Starker had three goals and junior forward Elena Beckman one.
Brown Deer track
The Falcons will open their outdoor season with a quad meet at Shorewood on Friday.
The spring schedule has been very limited so far, said coach Rob Green, because the Woodland Conference eliminated the league indoor meet.
The Brown Deer's girls team is very young this season as the 16-member squad's only senior is multi-time state place-winning sprinter Ariel Kinlow, who is recovering from an injury that cost her most of the basketball season.
Kinlow was third in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes and helped the 800-relay team to a second-place finish in last year's state meet.
The Falcons finished in a tie for third in the WIAA State Division 2 standings.
Other state meet veterans include sophomore Tahtyana Peer (800 relay and 200) and junior Simone Sherard (800 relay).
Brown Deer has nine freshmen on its roster.
The Falcons boys have more than 35 athletes this spring. They are coming off a rare rebuilding year and will build with returning members of the state 400-meter relay team including junior Evan Naber and seniors Najee Williams and Scott Richardson.
Brown Deer has just eight seniors on its roster as well as 11 freshmen.
Shorewood boys track
The Greyhounds had an encouraging finish at the Madison West Relays on Saturday, recording many good times and distances.
"Many of our athletes stepped up to the line and placed in their events while being seeded in a slower heat," said coach Dominic Newman. "It was nice to see a good balance between our distance crew and our sprinters."
Top places for Shorewood included a third by the 800-meter relay team of Bobby Kohl, Justin Rabon, Alec Grimmer and Taylor Dennis (1:36.61) and fourths by Aidan Mazur in the 800 meters (2:04.69), Gavin Schroeder in the 1,600 (4:50.02) and from the 1,600 relay team of Kohl, Grimmer, Mazur and Dennis (3:40.56). Dennis had a fine 400 split of 53. 42 on the anchor leg.
Rabon was fifth in the 200 (24.02) while Joseph Pendleton was seventh in the 3,200 (10:11.23). The 3,200 relay team of Pendleton, Mazur, Schroeder and Traudt was ninth in 8:42.03.
"Coaches were complimenting our sprinting program. It was also great to see the athletes winning their heats and then placing overall in the meet. They fought the clocks to get the best time that they could," Newman said.
Shorewood was ninth in the 21-school Class B standings with 27 points as Tomah won with 89 1/2 .
The Greyhound boys and girls will open their outdoor season with a quad meet at home at 4 p.m. Friday.
Shorewood's boys graduated multi-time state distance-running place-winners Peter Drews and Ben Tyler who helped the Greyhounds tie for sixth in the state Division 2 standings last June.
Nicolet girls soccer
The Knights opened their season with a 1-0 win over New Berlin Eisenhower on March 30.
Nicolet is very young this season with only three seniors, including co-captain and forward Emily Spector, midfielder Macey Patrie and defender Jenny Angeli. The other co-captain is junior defender Brianna Lopez.
Still, interest in the Tony Quintero-coached program remains high as there are 20 players on the varsity and 36 on two separate junior varsity programs (one of which is made up primarily of freshmen).
The varsity has six sophomores and three freshmen on it.
They will open North Shore play against Whitefish Bay on April 12 (TBA).
Whitefish Bay softball
The short-handed Blue Dukes, still without top returning senior catcher Leslie Fuda, who was still resting after the long basketball season, dropped a tough 12-11 decision to Dominican on March 31.
Fuda is only one of two senior returnees for the Blue Dukes this spring including Sarah Schwei. Bay graduated veteran pitcher Jo Ruppa last spring.
In the loss to Dominican, the Blue Dukes tied the score at 7-7 with six runs in the fifth and had an 11-10 lead going into the bottom of the seventh before the Green Knights rallied with two in the bottom of the frame.
Junior Katie Miller took the loss with two strikeouts and five walks. Schwei led the offense with three hits and two RBI while sophomore Maggie Hankerd had two hits including a home run while junior Bridget Whaley also helped offensively.
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