The Wauwatosa East girls soccer team saw their season come to an end quicker than they expected as the No. 4-seeded Nicolet Knights blanked the No. 5-seeded Red Raiders, 2-0, on June 2 in Glendale.
'I felt Nicolet was able to take us out of our rhythm and style early in the match by playing physical,' coach Eric Dale said. 'Our girls didn't respond and were constantly beaten in 50/50 balls and challenges, and that had a lot to do with Nicolet playing physically.'
The Knights scored in the fourth minute of the match on a breakaway chance at goal by Holly Rossman.
'Our back four was confused, and somehow three girls couldn't communicate while one of their fastest players got in on us over the top,' Dale said. 'Communication has been an issue for our entire team, and it will get fixed next season.'
Sophomore Liz Bueckers nearly evened the score twice for the Raiders at both the 12th minute and later in the half at the 27th minute. In the 12th minute, her shot from 30 yards out hit the right side of the crossbar, and again, in the 27th minute, her shot from inside the 18 banged off the right post.
'When you hit the woodwork twice and don't come up with a goal, it seems as if it's going to be one of those nights,' Dale said. 'Sadly, we weren't able to follow up on either of those great opportunities.'
With the Raiders attempting to push forward more in the latter half of the second half, the Knights were able to get in over the top once more when Josie Keldermann converted the insurance goal for Nicolet in the 73rd minute.
'That was the dagger,' Dale said. 'To their credit, their defense was fantastic all evening long. They kept a girl deep past their back line, and we had trouble slotting balls and playing connecting soccer all night long. Tonight, Nicolet was the better team.'
The Raiders ended their season with a solid 13-7-3 record.
Several graduating seniors played their final game. The departing seniors are Chyna Sincere, Riley Johnson, Clara Kuranz, Anne Oleniczak, Lauren Minette, Ali Herbst and tri-captains Lily Brock, Catherine Carter and Kamrynn LaMontagne.
The Red Raiders ended regular-season play with a convincing 7-0 win against the Greendale Panthers on Tuesday night at Whitman Field. It was a fitting way to end the season with a quality match for the seniors to enjoy on Senior Night and Parent Appreciation Night.
'This group of seniors has been instrumental in helping our coaching staff mold and create a program that values commitment and hard work,' Dale said. 'I was happy to see them play their last match at Whitman Field and turn in such a quality performance.'
Frosh Sydney Halstead opened the evening's scoring in the 21st minute on an assist from sophomore Crosbie Kowalski. Six minutes later, sophomore Liz Bueckers scored an unassisted goal to make the score 2-0.
In the 38th minute, Kowalski added a goal of her own off an assist from fellow sophomore Mariana Ibanez- Baldor for a 3-0 halftime lead.
The second half saw the Raiders tack on four more goals.
Senior defender Anne Oleniczak scored off a corner kick, heading the ball into the net from short range with an assist going to Bueckers. In the 51st minute, Bueckers scored her second goal of the match with an assist going to senior captain Kamrynn LaMontagne.
The 57th minute saw Sincere notch a goal with an assist going to Minette. The final goal of the match saw defender Kuranz get her first goal of the season in the 72nd minute on an assist from LaMontagne.