Whitefish Bay girls track
A stellar season for the Blue Dukes ended in quiet fashion, when senior Kenzie Vicker took seventh in the 3,200 meters in the WIAA state meet June 4 in La Crosse.
The Blue Dukes, who also got an eighth out of senior Nawoo Kim in the pole vault, finished with three points, good for a tie for 52nd in the Division 1 field. Bradley Tech won with 64.
Vicker, the 2009 state champion in the 3,200, finished in 11:07.08 for her spot as Sun Prairie's Liz Berkholtz completed her 1,600-3,200 sweep with a winning time of 10:52.76. Vicker was also 10th in the 1,600 (5:12.57).
Kim cleared a fine height of 10-6 for her spot in the vault, as Ashwaubenon's Alex Flucke went 12-0 for the state title.
Other state efforts for the Blue Dukes included senior Frankie Carroll earning 21st in the high jump (5-0), Vicker's sister, Mady, taking 18th in the 400 (1:00.14), and junior Sofie Yang claiming 20th in the triple jump (34-23/4).
The meet concluded a stellar season for Bay, as it won the North Shore Conference indoor and outdoor titles, as well as the Homestead Highlander Invitational and a WIAA regional crown.
The Vickers, members of a state championship cross country team in 2008, will attend Marquette University in the fall.
Homestead boys track
The 2011 season will go down as a great campaign for the Highlanders in their 51-year school history.
It would have been more memorable, noted veteran coach Dan Benson, had it not come on the heels of the Highlanders greatest season ever, the state championship campaign of 2010.
But despite that wide shadow, the 2011 group had nothing to be ashamed of as its laurels included its second straight North Shore Conference triple crown, the Benson Invitational title, a WIAA regional championship and a WIAA sectional runner-up finish.
Benson credits almost all of that success to his assistants, who helped the Highlanders earn six WIAA state medals and claim fourth in the annual test held in La Crosse, June 3 and 4.
"I really lean heavily on those guys (the assistants)," said Benson. "I try to give the guys the resources, have a little talk with them and then get out of their way and let them do their work.
"I then work behind the scenes. I do it with it great peace of mind."
He's also pleased with the fact that despite the fact that the school is losing enrollment every year, his numbers remained stable at about 90.
The senior leadership corps, like last year, was large and influential and the losses will include state meet veterans like Doug Mueller, Taylor Ruffin, Kyle Schober, Mike Cronce, Jake Ziebart, Max Vielmetti, Nate Routhier and Zach Enea.
But he's not totally despairing, as the junior varsity won the conference meet, too, and the Highlanders lettered a record four freshmen including Chris Mueller, Dan Held, Bryce Juedes and Parker Lewis.
"It was funny, as we were coming back from state, we were going down the list of who we had to cross off (of who was graduating)," said Benson, "but then we thought about all the guys we have back. I think we'll be OK."
Homestead boys golf
Behind Jordan Niebrugge's 10th place individual finish, the Highlanders finished an up-and-down season on a solid note, taking 10th of 16 in the WIAA state tournament at University Ridge in Verona on June 6 and 7.
Veteran coach Steve O'Brien felt bad for Niebrugge, who went in as one of the pre-tournament favorites, but struggled with an illness he contracted just before the event started.
"Not to make excuses," O'Brien said, "but he was one of the sickest puppies out there. He really didn't want to make it an excuse, but one of the last things he told me before he went on the first day was that the club felt like it weighed 100 pounds in his hands.
"In fact, the whole team was down a little bit. We had some suffering kids out there. But, we hit the ball a lot better on Tuesday as did Jordan. In fact, if he had been able to knock down some putts, he would have been knocking on the door (of the individual title)."
Homestead had a 36-hole total of 668 as Middleton knocked off defending champ Arrowhead by 10 shots with a 608 score.
Niebrugge turned in rounds of 78 and 75 for a 153 total for his spot in the 104-golfer field as Onalaska's Ben Skogen was individual medalist with a 145 mark.
Other scores for the Highlanders included Dylan Lyons with a 173 (83-90), Oliver Lanigan 174 (93-81), Joe Tautges 176 (86-90) and Tyler Lyons 179 (85-94).
O'Brien was proud of his up-and-down North Shore champs this season.
"We were really a Jekyll-and-Hyde outfit this year," O'Brien said, "but we got to the point where we could compete with some of the best teams out there."
The only returnee for O'Brien next year is the Oklahoma State recruit Niebrugge.
"One of the things he'll get to show next year is leadership," O'Brien said. "Let's see what kind of kids he'll be able to get to play with him next year."
Homestead girls soccer
Cedarburg girls soccer coach Trent Berg said that the two-goal first half advantage his team earned against archrival and host Homestead in a WIAA sectional semifinal June 9 was a great thing.
Up to a point.
"You've got the momentum, but then it becomes a mental challenge because sometimes it's hard to maintain focus," he said. "In a way, it's the most dangerous thing in the game."
But the Bulldogs (15-4-1) maintained that focus and fought off a second half surge from the second-ranked in state Highlanders (18-2-2) to pull off the 2-1 upset. Cedarburg fell to top-ranked Grafton in the sectional final.
"The ball just didn't drop for us," a disappointed Homestead coach Rich Dorn said. "We certainly had our chances. Give credit to Cedarburg. They played with intensity and a lot of heart. We didn't quit, but we just didn't convert our chances."
Cedarburg scored both its goals in a span of 2:40 in the first half. Bulldog sophomore midfielder Anny West dropped a corner kick gently into the far right side of the penalty area where sophomore forward Lydia Koenig headed the ball in cleanly from point blank range at the 21:09 mark.
Then at the 23:49 mark, the Bulldogs star midfielder Josee Stiever put her foot to the ball on the right side of the field about 30 yards out and scorched it to the upper left side of the net for a 2-0 lead.
"The wind held the ball up and they maintained their aggressiveness," Dorn said. "We couldn't get them off the left side of the field."
After watching the Bulldogs control much of the first half, the Highlanders focused on manufacturing chances in the second half. After a couple of early pushes yielded nothing, captain and defender Lindsay Jagla looped a long free kick into the penalty area, where it bounced among several players before midfielder Kate Wirthlin turned and deftly slapped it into the left side of the goal from about 15 yards out at the 47:30 mark to make it 2-1.
Homestead continued to push and look for the equalizer, but it never came.
The Highlanders had two good chances in the closing minutes as Olivia Tehan's shot was just wide at the 76:40 mark and Wirthlin was able to cross the ball into the penalty area with about 10 seconds to go only to have Jagla's header be saved.
"That's the way it was going for us all night," said Dorn. "… It's really too bad, we had such a quality team."
Nicolet girls soccer
Hat tricks don't occur too often.
Unfortunately, one abruptly ended the Nicolet girls soccer season on June 9.
Divine Savior Holy Angels' junior Brianna LaBarbera scored three goals, all in the second half, as the second-seeded Dashers handled the third-seeded Knights, 4-0, at Quad Park on a cool late-spring evening in the sectional semifinals.
Arguably, Nicolet controlled the first half. But DSHA came out of the break hot, scoring all four goals in a span of 27 minutes.
"They came out on fire," Nicolet head coach Tony Quintero said. "Just had a little more pace than we did at every position in the second half. We were struggling a little bit there getting our composure and discipline defensively."
LaBarbera put away the Dasher's first goal in the 50th minute off an assist from junior Madeline Sweeney. Seven minutes later, sophomore Brenna Koeneke scored the Dasher's second goal with a perfectly placed far-post shot.
"We definitely got fatigued," Quintero said. "Mistakes started happening. … I also think that once they got that first goal, that momentum shift, that psychological shift for them was a big factor."
However, Quintero still saw several positives out of a game that could have looked quite negative from just the numbers.
"I think our combination play in the first half - switching the ball quickly, the give-and-goes, overlaps, stuff like that - that gave us more chances," Quintero said. "They're used to playing more possession style. We knew that, so we played more direct, so I think that's what we did well."
The season overall for the Knights was a great success, tallying one of the best records in school history at 14-6-2 with a relatively young team.
"This has been kind of a growing season," Quintero said. "We graduated nine seniors last year. We only graduate three seniors out of 22 (players)."
The three seniors leaving the program are captain Emily Spector, Macey Patrie and Jenny Angeli. Quintero said the seniors, especially Spector, brought great leadership to the team throughout the year
"I am very excited about what our chances are for next year," Quintero said.
Nicolet boys golf
One of coach Ted Wachs' "Steady Eddies," senior Noah Hersch, concluded the Knights' season on a positive note when he tied for 51st out of 104 players in the WIAA state golf tournament at University Ridge in Verona on June 6 and 7.
Hersch, a senior, came in with a 36-hole score of 167 (79-88) as Onalaska's Ben Skogen was individual medalist with a 145 total. Hersch did have the distinction of being the fourth overall North Shore player as Jakob Garstecki of Germantown was seventh (152), Jordan Niebrugge of Homestead was 10th (153) and Phillip Johnson of Germantown was 46th (164).
Other leaders of the Nicolet team, which won the North Shore title in 2010 with many of the same people it had this year, included Rob Bamberger, Aaron Sandock and Hersch's fellow sectional qualifier Clay Martin.
Wachs called Hersch, Sandock and Bamberger, all four-year golfers, his "three musketeers" for their leadership and intelligence.
Shorewood girls soccer
The Greyhounds put a game effort against a powerful Catholic Memorial squad but came up a little bit short in making a bid for their first-ever WIAA state tournament berth, when they dropped a, 2-0, Division 2 sectional final decision Saturday.
The Greyhounds finished with a 12-8-2 record (6-5 in the Woodland) while the Crusaders (19-6-2) advanced to a WIAA state semifinal Friday at Uihlein Soccer Complex in Milwaukee.
Memorial outshot Shorewood, 9-2, and scored both its goals within a 10-minute span early in the second half.
The Greyhounds had advanced to the game with a 3-0 sectional semifinal victory over Port Washington on June 10.
In that game, Shorewood got goals from Sunni Kessenich (Brittany Brown assist), Marissa Marti (Kessenich) and Victoria Nelsen.
The loss finishes a competitive season for the Greyhounds, finishing fifth in the Woodland.
Seniors for the Greyhounds included Emily Bachhuber, Carol Devitt, Hallie Lebelle, Hannah Fergal and Marti.
Brown Deer boys golf
After making a spirited run out of the WIAA regional tournament, the game Falcons saw their season end at the WIAA sectional tourney held at Camelot in Lomira on May 31.
The effort finished a competitive season for the Falcons who were led by seniors Sean Andryauskas, Sam Kuchenreuther and Brett Youngbeck. Returnees for next year include sophomores David Bach and Drew Worth.
Nicolet girls softball
The Knights finished their season on a competitive note, falling to eventual WIAA state tournament qualifier Homestead by a 6-3 count in a WIAA regional final on June 2.
Nicolet (6-19 overall) had advanced with a 15-5 regional semifinal win over Wauwatosa West on May 31.
In the win over West, both Lanoira Duhart and Erin Miller had two hits and scored four runs apiece, while Jessica Kloehn had two hits and three RBI while Claire Maxon had three runs scored and two hits.
In the loss to Homestead, Nicolet got two hits apiece from Kelsey Clark, Edyn Herbert and Kloehn. The Knights were down 6-1 after five innings.
Nicolet is still a very young team as the only seniors are powerhouse all-conference player Emily Gadzichowski and Kinsey Dunst.
Whitefish Bay girls softball
The Blue Dukes also had something to be hopeful about after a rough 0-14 North Shore season, as they routed St. Francis in a wild 30-17 WIAA Division 2 regional quarterfinal before falling to Cudahy, 17-3 in a regional semifinal.
In the win over St. Francis, the Blue Dukes (4-19 overall) got three runs scored, two hits and two RBI from Kristen Patapoff, three runs and two hits from Laura Wigton and two runs scored from Sarah Schwei.
Ciara Otto got the win pitching.
Bay, too, was very young, as its only seniors were Leslie Fuda and Schwei.
Shorewood girls softball
It was close to a major breakthrough for the Greyhounds, as after winning a 6-2 WIAA Division 2 regional quarterfinal decision over St. Thomas More on May 26, a four-run rally in the seventh came up just short in a 15-14 regional semifinal decision against Milwaukee Lutheran on May 31.
The loss finished Shorewood season at 5-21.
In the loss to Lutheran, the Greyhounds got three hits, including two doubles and four RBI from Meredith Behm, two hits and three RBI from Quincey Rice and two hits from Celia Carroll. Seven errors hurt Shorewood's effort.
In the win over More, Behm had three hits, while Lindsay Borkin and Rice had two apiece. Addie Prochnow got the win pitching with four strikeouts.
Seniors for the Greyhounds included Behm, Carroll, Prochnow, Rice, Raifa Sauqar, Cindy Schuelke, Kim Tham and Kaitlyn Wick.
- Steven L. Tietz and Michael Gouvion
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