There’s nothing like going into the playoffs on a roll. Just ask the Grafton girls’ soccer team.
After losing to top-ranked Cedarburg, 3-1, on May 13, the Black Hawks have bounced back by wrapping up the regular season with four consecutive shutout wins, including a 4-0 victory at University School last Friday.
“We definitely are playing some very good soccer right now,” said Grafton coach Don Arnold, whose team improved its overall record to 9-4-1 entering WIAA Division 2 tournament play this week.
“We’ve been really steady on defense and are moving the ball on offense and creating a lot of scoring opportunities.”
In Friday’s nonconference match, the Hawks handled a quick, aggressive foe by scoring twice in each half.
Haley Orlowski provided the first goal with an assist from Abby Freeland in the 13th minute. Zoie Bauer’s goal, assisted by Alyssa Arnold, in the 22nd minute made it 2-0 at intermission.
Alyssa Arnold did the scoring honors in the second period, providing an unassisted goal at 48:28 and finding the net again in the 57th minute with an assist from Bauer.
“It was good to get a game in on a turf field,” coach Arnold said. “University School has a very fast team. They gave us a battle.”
Grafton 4, Kettle Moraine Lutheran 0
A fast start helped the Hawks surge to a nonconference victory May 23.
In the third minute, Mann scored with an assist from Taylor Arnold to give Grafton its only goal of the first half.
The lead ballooned with goals by Alyssa Arnold and Taylor Arnold, both assisted by Mann, in the 43rd and 51st minutes, respectively. Elena Destrampe capped the scoring with an assist from Orlowski at 72:46.
Grafton kept the pressure on with a steady barrage of shots against Lutheran keeper Andrea Meinert, who had 21 saves.
Grafton 5, Port Washington 0
The Hawks pulled away with two goals late in the first half of a North Shore Conference road win May 21.
After Maddy Huibregste scored with an assist from Alyssa Arnold in the seventh minute, the game remained 1-0 until the 33rd minutes. Alyssa Arnold’s goal, assisted by Alli Demerath, made it 2-0 at 33 minutes.
Mann set up a goal by Orlowski at 37 minutes to give the Hawks a 3-0 halftime lead.
In the second period, Jessie Bader scored with an assist from Taylor Arnold, and Mann found the net with an assist from Alyssa Arnold at 50 and 58 minutes.
The win gave Grafton a final league record of 4-3.
Homestead 4, Port Washington 0
The Pirates stayed in contention in the first half of a North Shore Conference road loss in a makeup game May 23 but struggled the rest of the way.
Homestead broke the game open with goals in the 51st, 53rd and 61st minutes.
The game left the Pirates with a final conference record of 1-6 and at 5-9-2 overall heading into their regular-season finale Tuesday, May 28, against Milwaukee King.
Grafton and Port will open WIAA tournament play with 7 p.m. regional semifinal games Thursday, May 30.
Grafton received a No. 3 seed and will host Milwaukee School of Languages (No. 14). The winner will face the winner of a game between Shorewood (No. 6) and Kenosha Indian Trail (No. 13) in a regional final Saturday, June 1.
In Division 1, Port (No. 11) will play at Milwaukee Hamilton (No. 6). If the Pirates win, they will face the winner of a game between Germantown (No. 3) and Milwaukee Bradley Tech (No. 14) in a regional final Saturday, June 1.
Regional finals will be played on the home field of the highest-seeded team.
Image Information: HEADS-UP PLAY was required when Grafton’s Maria Salm (left) and Port Washington’s Sarah Spaeth battled for the ball during a North Shore Conference soccer game. Photo by Sam Arendt