Mequon — When a soccer team roars out to a 9-0-1 start and the top slot in the WIAA state coaches' poll, it tends to get attention.
And after three impressive wins last week, consider the Homestead girls squad to be bathing full-scale in the spotlight.
"I think we try to learn from every game," Brookfield East coach Matt Schroeder said after the Spartans' lopsided, 3-0, loss to the Highlanders last weekend, "and I think we can learn a lot from this one.
"The thing with Homestead is, is that they defend with all 11 players and they attack with all 11 players and they do that better than just about anyone else out there."
That they do. The Highlanders also handed upstart Nicolet its first loss of the season, 3-0, back on May 3 and also defeated Milwaukee Lutheran, 4-0, in a North Shore make-up game.
"I just watched that East game the other day, and I just went 'Oh boy!' " said Whitefish Bay coach Robert Williams, who looked to stop the Highlanders juggernaut Tuesday night in a pivotal North Shore tilt (see MequonNOW.com for details).
Homestead has the same record as second-ranked Waukesha West (9-0-1) while Neenah (8-0-3) is third.
And Homestead coach Rich Dorn knows what he's sitting on right now and is going to ride it for as long as far as it will take him.
"Our depth is really showing up right now," he said. "We're just getting good production out of everybody. We have a better understanding of the game and we get into good rhythms more quickly now. We're closer to all being on the same page than we have been this season."
And the Highlanders will get another chance to test that assertion this weekend, when they take part in the Gusho Memorial at Brookfield East. They'll take on Kettle Moraine at 7:30 p.m. Friday and then face the winner of East and that third-ranked Neenah team at 9 a.m. Saturday.
"What I really like now is our consistency," Dorn said. "We're valuing possessions, and we're working hard on not giving things away with an unforced error. We want to maintain pressure. We want to win 50/50 balls.
"And we want to stay dangerous offensively."
In last weekend's games, the Highlanders did just that. In the make-up with Lutheran on Friday, Olivia Tehan had two goals and co-captain Aubrey Quick and Shannon Greeley one apiece. Co-captain Lindsay Jagla and Quick both had assists.
On Saturday, state power and contender East was even more stunned, as the Highlanders hit them with three goals in the first half and never looked back. Freshman Greeley had the first goal at the 11-minute mark while her classmate Brooke Szafranski had the other two.
And though, he's happy with his freshmen, Dorn knows that this team would be nowhere with seniors like Quick, Jagla, Emily Jakubiak, Claire Lindsay, Caitlin West, Tehan, Emily Haefner and Kim McGinnis.
"What's unique about our senior class is that there is no drop-off," said Dorn. "They're just very consistent."
And the state is discovering that fact, game-by-game.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Strong fourth quarter lifts Homestead girls past Whitefish Bay, 44-34
- Bay boys hang on, 44-42, after losing big lead against Homestead
- Navarre says "thank you" through bone marrow registry
- JV state tourney idea a big hit in Homestead qualifier
- Germantown boys late rally keeps Homestead at bay, 65-58
- Thousands remember, pay homage to Germantown great Datka
- Peregrine: Founding father of Homestead athletics
- Muskego boys fight past grief to beat Homestead for tourney title
- Wrestling: Homestead grabs historic tourney title
- Homestead boys shutout Nicolet in third quarter in 65-30 rout