Rocket kickers make strides despite losses

By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

A two-goal loss isn’t exactly something to celebrate, but it shows another step in the right direction for the Cedar Grove-Belgium High School boys’ soccer team.

The Rockets last Thursday lost, 4-2, at home to Kohler, which is ranked 10th in Division 4 in the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association poll, the lowest of three Big East Conference teams in the top 10.

Kyle Schultz, in his second year as the Rockets’ coach, said it was the first time Cedar Grove-Belgium scored two goals on Kohler and held the Blue Bombers to four in the last 10 years.

“I’m proud of the whole team,” he said. “We still have a little bit of lapses sometimes, but overall I feel it has been a huge turnaround from what we did last year,” he said.

The Rockets have won five games this season after a winless 2021 campaign.

Against Kohler, sophomore Caleb Heinen scored another two goals to bring his season total to 16 in 12 games. Schutlz said that’s not a surprise from someone of his talent coming off earning Big East honorable mention as a freshman. Logan Navis and Cameron Holle each had an assist.

Freshman keeper Landon Altheimer helped keep the Rockets close with eight saves.

“He’s been having himself just a fantastic year,” Schultz said of Altheimer. “The Kohler coach and I talked. He thought our keeper was phenomenal. He’s probably one of the biggest pieces of our team.”

It was the second impressive game against a ranked team this season. The Rockets lost to No. 3-ranked Oostburg, 1-0, on a penalty kick with five minutes to play.

On Sept. 20, the Rockets lost to nonconference foe Algoma, 4-3, at home.

“I think we should have been in it. We missed out on a couple of opportunities,” Schutlz said.

Algoma scored three goals from the 44th to 51st minutes on the same play that “just kind of burned us,” he said.

Navis had two goals and Jesse Burg had one. Heinen, Parker Knight and David Martinez each had an assist.

“Logan has turned it up this year and Jesse has been a surprise for me. I didn’t expect him to put as many in,” Schultz said. Burg has eight goals.

Altheimer had 15 saves.

The Rockets, 5-6-1 overall and 0-3-1 in the Big East, played at St. Mary Catholic on Tuesday, host a tournament on Saturday and host Random Lake (0-4 Big East) on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Talented teams top Grafton

Grafton lost, 2-0, at Nicolet on Sept. 20 and, 3-2, to Slinger at home last Thursday.

“We had a few opportunities but just had some mental lapses,” coach Jason Rodgers said. “They got after us pretty early and got some shots off, but Charlie (Rose) did fairly well in the first half to keep them out of the net. Lack of communication led to a couple of goals.”

The Black Hawks lost Trevor Marien to an injury as well.

Against Slinger, the mental lapses continued, but the Hawks responded after falling behind twice by one goal. They didn’t have enough ticks on the clock to get the equalizer after the Owls’ third score.

Freshman Charlie Lawrence impressed Rodgers in his first conference start.

“He did very well,” Rodgers said.

Lawrence got an assist when he passed to Cayden Sumner, who beat the keeper to the ball for a tap-in goal.

Sumner scored a second time — his 12th goal of the season — on a through-ball from Austin Eigenberger and ended up one-on-one with the keeper.

“I’ll take that every day of the week,” Rodgers said of the match-up.

Rodgers also praised freshman Christian Hansen, who played well in filling in on defense for Marien.

The Hawks, 2-4 in the North Shore Conference and 4-6 overall, played at Homestead (6-0 NSC) on Tuesday, Sept. 27, and host Port Washington (1-5 NSC) on Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the annual battle for the Timm Syder Trophy.

Port goes 1-2 in roller-coaster week

Port Washington sandwiched two league losses with a nonconference victory last week.

The Pirates lost at Homestead, 8-0, in 60 minutes via the mercy rule and didn’t have many chances to score.

“They were pretty solid. We got to the back line and they just kind of shut us down,” coach Tyler Schultz said.

He praised keeper Spencer Struckman and center back Connor Cowen for keeping Port in the game as long as they could.

Port beat West Allis Central, 1-0, on the road on Sept. 21.

Senior center midfielder Luke Markiewicz scored in the second half on a 35 to 40-yard shot.

“He just popped it up. It slipped through the keeper’s hands,” Schultz said. “I think he was trying to cross it but we’re going to count it as a shot.”

Freshman keeper George Pasco played well in place of Struckman, who was out sick.

“He stepped up big time back there. He said he was nervous, but everyone gets nervous on their first start,” Schultz said. “He was a rock back there.”

Cowen and outside back Max Mitchell helped keep the Bulldogs at bay, Schultz said.

Struckman was back against West Bend West last Thursday, but Port lost, 2-0.

“They took control at the first kick and pretty much ran us over like a freight train. Once we realized that they’re a quick team, we had to step it up,” Schultz said.

Port has been fighting injuries and Schultz said he hopes to get a full team back this week. Port hosted Kettle Moraine Lutheran on Tuesday, hosts Hartford (1-4 NSC) on Thursday and plays at Grafton on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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