Wauwatosa East played better than its record showed last week as the girls soccer team split two Greater Metro Conference matches and lost a non-conference match to end the week.
In the biggest match of the week, the Red Raiders dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to Divine Savior Holy Angels on May 6 at Whitman Field.
"We knew we had to match their intensity at the start and had to be very physical in the midfield," said East coach Rob Dubinski.
In the 15th minute, DSHA took advantage of a mistake made by the East defense. The Dashers' Maria Kass gained possession just over half field, East's defense did not drop and pinch quick enough and she slotted a ball through the gap to a sprinting Hannah Schramka. Schramka took two dribbles and unleashed a shot near post from about 20 yards out.
"It was a nice build and a great finish by them," Dubinski said. "The rest of the game would be a physical battle with each team having a few chances at goal. I felt we had a number of good scoring opportunities that we just couldn't capitalize on.
Dubinski praised the Dashers, who are ranked No. 1 in Division 1.
"DS is a great team with a lot of talent," he said. "You are not going to get a lot of chances to score on them so when you do create one, you must finish. Unfortunately we did not, and that's why yet again we lost another one-goal game to a state-ranked conference opponent.
"What separates the great teams from the very good ones is that the great teams finish their opportunities. I feel we are right there, but we just have to keep working."
Downed the Chargers
The Red Raiders blanked Sussex Hamilton, 6-0, on May 8 at home.
"After playing three straight state-ranked conference opponents, the girls were able to take a breath of fresh air," Dubinski said. "We moved some girls around at halftime of the DSHA game and that was how we were planning on starting this match."
East immediately pounced on Sussex and in the ninth minute, Katie Salmon served a corner kick into the box and Alex Carlson ran through the defender and headed the ball back to the near post for a 1-0 lead.
"We have had number of great dead-ball goals this season, but Alex's header goal could be one of the best goals of the year," Dubinski said.
In the 11th minute, Salmon beat her defender 1-on-1 on the outside and slotted the ball back across the six to a crashing McKenna Kowalski who extended the lead to 2-0.
"Katie Salmon has been playing at such a high level this season," Dubinski said. "She has been our go-to player on offense so far and is one of the main reasons we are in games offensively. She has been an all- conference player for a number of years and is playing like it again this season.
In the 13th minute, the game was stopped due to lightning, but the 30-minute delay didn't cool off the Red Raiders. Five minutes into the restart, Catherine Carter had a dead ball from about 25 yards out and did what she has been doing all year — crushed the ball over the wall into the near post to make it 3-0.
Seven minutes later, Emily Bradley played a ball into the box and again found Carter who beat the goalie for her second goal of the night. The scoring kept coming — in the 37th minute when Sam Westphal served in a corner kick and found Beca Pallo for her first goal of the season.
"Beca was able to get free and put one in," Dubinski said. "She has been playing very well for us all year but hasn't been able to find the net. Good news is, that changed tonight.
Leading 5-0 at intermission, East came out quickly in the second half and scored three minutes in when Kelli Swenson found Pallo open in the midfield. Pallo went at the goal and from the right side of the 18, hit a rocket near post for her second score of the game.
"We needed a game like this," Dubinski said. "We needed to play a game where we were the aggressor and dictated the flow right from the opening kick. Sussex is a good team, but they had no answer for us in the midfield today. We finished with 6 goals on 10 shots."
The Red Raiders then lost to at New Berlin Eisenhower, 2-1, in overtime on May 10.
Six minutes into the match, the Lions scored on Andrea Zubke's shot off a pass from Emma Grellinger and they led 1-0 at intermission.
Nine minutes into the second half, the Red Raiders scored a goal by Beca Pallo with an assist to Sam Westphal, and that was it the rest of regulation.
Ike then scored on a shot by Grellinger off an assist from Hesselbach to win the match in overtime at .
"Eisenhower is a house of horrors for us the past few years, and that didn't change on Saturday."
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