Playing in a loaded field at Brookfield East's Al Gusho Memorial Tournament, the Wauwatosa West boys soccer team fell just short of claiming the crown.
Wauwatosa West advanced to the final by beating Muskego in a shootout and taking down Brookfield East in a semifinal featuring state-ranked teams. But Whitefish Bay, the defending Division 2 state champion, was too much for the Trojans, as the Blue Dukes grabbed a 2-0 win on Sept. 3.
"It is always tough to play three games in three days, but the boys were up to the challenge," Trojans coach Ryan Bailey said. "We had a very successful weekend overall."
In its first round game against Muskego on Sept. 1, Wauwatosa West took a 1-0 lead in the 65th minute on a corner kick from Jorge Davila to Phil Fobair. The Warriors answered back to tie the game just a minute later on a Sam Runyan goal off a poor Wauwatosa West clearance.
The game ended in a tie, but the Trojans advanced to the semifinal by winning the shootout, with keeper Collin Sieglaff saving Muskego's final shot attempt to seal the victory.
Brookfield East made the semifinals with a 5-2 win over Menomonee Falls.
The Spartans entered the tournament ranked No. 3 in Division 2, while the Trojans were No. 5.
Wauwatosa West moved up to No. 3 in the current poll, while Brookfield East fell to No. 4.
Wauwatosa West came away with a 1-0 win, scoring the lone goal of the match in the seventh minute when Parker Summers rebounded a save by Brookfield East keeper Joe Hoff off a shot from Will Jushka.
"This was a victory the boys really wanted," Bailey said. "After losing 6-1 to them last year at the Gusho, we wanted to come out and show we are among those teams that should be talked about as being dangerous.
"We have preached clean sheets each day, and this was our first and only one so far. Although there were still mistakes made, we found a way together to get the victory."
Wauwatosa West created a few early chances in the final but couldn't convert. The Blue Dukes, now 7-0 and the top-ranked team in Division 2, appear just as strong as they were last season when they won the state championship.
"The two goals we conceded were preventable," Bailey said. "We were a bit unsure on air balls and did not communicate. Being the top-ranked team in the state, they took advantage and punished us with goals."
Wauwatosa West was scheduled to open Woodland Conference play against Pewaukee on Sept. 7.
The Battle of Tosa between Wauwatosa West and Wauwatosa East will be played at Whitman Middle School at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. The Trojans have won two straight over their rivals.