Whitefish Bay girls soccer
A controversial penalty kick goal in the final minutes led the Blue Dukes to a 2-1 defeat to North Shore Conference champion Cedarburg, in a WIAA sectional semifinal on June 7.
"After time has passed, I've taken a different look at it," Blue Dukes coach Robert Williams said. "People think I'm blaming the ref, but all I wanted was a good explanation. In truth, we just didn't play that well. … In the end, we just picked a bad day to play our worst game."
The loss ended the Blue Dukes 13-game streak without a loss and finished their injury-marked season at 15-4-2.
The penalty kick made it 2-0 in the 78th minute. The goal became important when the Blue Dukes' Mariah Downs found the back of the net with about 30 seconds remaining to make it 2-1.
Top-ranked Cedarburg was then stunned by Grafton, 5-2, in the sectional final on Saturday for the right to go to state.
Williams said he had fun this year and that it was a special team.
"They weren't bound together like last year's group (which went to state), but they connected on a different level," he said. "We had fun for an underappreciated fifth seed (laughs). At the end of the day, we became a better team, because at the start of the year, there was no way I was thinking that we'd be 15-4-2."
Bay graduates six seniors including Abby Starker, who was an all-state level striker two years ago before two knee surgeries slowed her down. She became the team's goalie this season and recorded 11 shutouts.
"There was a point where she felt that she wouldn't be helping the team," Williams said, "but that was far from the case. She was a top five player in the state two years ago. A position change and the injuries would have made a lot of people all about themselves, but she instead she came back, played and played well."
Other seniors included Kirstin Edwards, Kelly Danek, Lindsey Agnew, Maggie McNally and Elena Beckman. The top junior varsity team was 16-1.
Nicolet girls softball
The Knights recorded their best year in 17 seasons with a 13-12 record that included a WIAA regional title and a tough 3-1 loss to eventual state tournament qualifier Germantown in a WIAA sectional semifinal.
"It was a good year," coach Brad Kuehl said. "We had only two real stinkers on the year and had our first winning record since 1995. We also could have had a better record as there were some games we let slip through our hands."
Junior third baseman Lanoira Duhart led the way with a first-team All-North Shore selection season including a .390 batting average, 17 walks, on-base percentage of .588 and a slugging percentage of .688 with 25 RBIs and 42 putouts and 69 assists. She had nine doubles, four triples and two home runs.
Freshman pitcher Amanda Mehl threw almost every game and recorded 86 strikeouts vs. 59 walks and a 2.84 ERA while sophomore shortstop Edyn Herbert hit .352 with 19 RBIs, 21 walks and 13 stolen bases on the season. She also had two home runs.
Seniors include Cylie McAdams, Jasmine Stacey, Cydney Anderson, Becca Garrison, Erin Miller, Svea Hieb, Sarah Mueller, Christie Bailey, Margaret Dykstra, Allison Foran-McHale and Victoria Ghilardi.
Kuehl said that Miller, a three-year starter at second base, will be a big loss.
Whitefish Bay baseball
After their WIAA state semifinal run of a year ago, the Blue Dukes are off to a credible 8-4 start this season.
"Things are going pretty well," Blue Dukes coach Jay Wojcinski said. "We're hitting the ball hard and our pitching has been pretty sound. … These are pretty businesslike kids. They can put themselves in a hole and then pull themselves out, all the while remaining pretty even-keeled in the process.
"They just take care of business."
The Blue Dukes opened their season with a 15-12 win over Greenfield, dropped decisions to Marquette (8-6) and New Berlin Eisenhower (9-7), and then won five in a row over Wauwatosa West (1-0), Milwaukee Riverside (8-7), Port Washington 4-2), Homestead (12-3) and Grafton (11-0).
They lost a 5-1 decision to Nicolet and beat West Bend West (6-3) and West Bend East (9-7), before falling to Cedarburg (6-2) on Monday.
After graduating NOW All-Suburban infielder Garrett DeMuth and top pitcher Jack Fagan off the 21-14 team of a year ago, the Blue Dukes will build around senior pitchers Justin Alt and Pat Rose, junior outfielder/pitcher Grant Menard, junior third baseman Johnny Markwiese, sophomore second baseman Turner DeMuth, senior outfielder James Stecker and junior outfielder Jackson Weber.
Others working their way into the starting lineup include junior catcher Jacob Carlson, freshman pitcher and catcher Nick Lackney, and freshman pitcher/first baseman Joe Kaszubowski.
All told, Bay has three seniors, four juniors, a freshman and a sophomore in the starting lineup.
"The guys who were around last year, have an understanding for the game and what it means to play at a high level," Wojcinski said. "They're passing it around to the younger guys. That's good, because it's going to be an interesting year in the North Shore. I think at least two or three losses are going to win the league this year."
Bay hosts Germantown on Thursday, hosts Kettle Moraine at 11 a.m. Saturday, visits Grafton on Monday and visits Nicolet on Tuesday. All games otherwise listed are at 5:30 p.m.
The Knights are off to a tough 2-2 start in the North Shore and a 3-4 record overall under veteran coach Dick Sykes.
The team is led by the likes of third baseman/pitcher Hunter Crass, shortstop/second baseman Tyler Crass, shortstop/pitcher Spencer Borneman and outfielder/pitcher Brandon Kappel.
Nicolet opened its season with a 6-4 loss to Marquette, beat Thomas More (3-2), West Bend East (10-9) and Whitefish Bay (5-1), and dropped decisions to Slinger (2-1), Cedarburg (7-3) and Sheboygan Falls (11-0).
The Knights were at Homestead Wednesday, host Grafton on Thursday, host West Bend West on Friday, are at Franklin on Saturday (11 a.m.) and then are at West Bend East on Monday. All other games are at 5:30 p.m.
The Highlanders, under veteran coach Ernie Millard, are off to a 7-3 start this season.
Homestead opened the summer session with wins over New Holstein (1-0) and Wauwatosa West (7-6), before engaging in a suspended game with Greendale (4-4) and falling to Whitefish Bay (12-3).
They then routed Slinger (10-1), before falling to West Bend East (5-1).
They have now won four of their last five games, including wins over Tosa West (11-0) and Port Washington (11-7), a loss to Germantown (1-0) and triumphs over Plymouth (7-3) and West Bend West (3-2).
Millard is carrying 11 juniors on his large 21-man roster with junior pitcher Jake Erfourth being a very pleasant surprise so far.
The Highlanders hosted Nicolet on Wednesday, are at Cedarburg on Thursday, are at UW-Whitewater on Saturday to take on Pewaukee (TBA), at Slinger on Monday and then host West Bend East on June 19.
All games are at 5:30 p.m. unless otherwise indicated.
Brown Deer baseball
Trying to make do without graduated NOW All-Suburban catcher Brett Youngbeck among others, the Falcons have struggled out of the gate to a 3-7 record.
They began the year with a 23-0 rout of Messmer but then dropped decisions to Milwaukee Madison (11-6), Pewaukee (5-4) and SWCHA (12-9), before beating Kiel 13-1. They then fell to West Bend East (2-0), Wauwatosa West (8-5) and Mukwonago (8-3) before splitting two games with Thomas More, winning the first 7-6, and losing the second, 9-7.
Leading returnees for the Falcons include junior infielder/pitcher Jake Schimenz, junior infielder/pitcher Drew Worth, senior outfielder Evan Naber and senior infielder/pitcher Kyle Okray.
Brown Deer was 19-12 last season.
The Mike Donahue-coached team is at Greenfield at 5 p.m. Thursday, at New Berlin West at 1 p.m. Friday, at Shorewood at 5 p.m. Monday then back home hosting Shorewood at 7 p.m. June 19.
Under new coaches Jason Calvert and Mike Rauwerdink, the Greyhounds are off to a 1-6 start.
Shorewood had one of its best records in years in 2011 at 10-18 and are trying to build around veterans such as senior infielder/pitcher Ian Roudebush, sophomore catcher Cooper Lang, junior infielder Andrew Mueller and center field Elliott Kucharczyk.
The Greyhounds opened the season with a 1-0 loss to Cedarburg and a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Thomas More. They then beat More, 12-10, before falling to Greenfield (7-5), New Berlin West (8-3 and 8-2) and St. Francis (9-1).
They host SWCHA at 7 p.m. Thursday before taking on Greenfield in the South Milwaukee Wood Bat Tournament at 8 a.m. Saturday. They host Brown Deer at 5 p.m. on Monday and then visit the Falcons at 7 p.m. June 19.
- Steven L. Tietz
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