PHS endures tough ending
No doubt, this one stings.
Creating opportunities is one thing; finishing what you start is another. Fair is generally a word seldom used to describe outcomes of soccer matches.
Friday afternoon at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee, the highly successful Pewaukee boys soccer team was shaken after a 2-1 defeat in a WIAA Division 2 state semifinal match at that hands of defending champion Mount Horeb.
Mount Horeb looked to be the team on its heels after the Pirates were the aggressors, dominating possession in the early going and first half in general.
The Pirates, winners of its last eight games, hasn't slipped since falling to Milwaukee Pius on Sept. 10, 2-1.
Pewaukee grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 15:39 mark. With junior forward Dominic Florian challenging, Mount Horeb senior goalkeeper Colin Schulz was drawn out to the front of the six-yard box. Pirates junior midfielder Brad Nagel pounced on the ball and was the beneficiary.
The Vikings (15-5-2) drew even with Pewaukee (17-3-4) in the 29th minute on a goal from sophomore forward Dane Zoske. Freshman midfielder Steven Abalos, who later stole the spotlight, had the assist on a short cross in tight quarters near the end line just in front of Pewaukee junior goalie Garrett Shibilski.
Mount Horeb got the lead on what turned out to be the game-winner in the 57th minute from Abalos, assisted by senior Connor DeHaven.
Florian, along with senior defender Mike Graf, junior defender Jake Nevermann and senior Ethan Brownell, did all they could to tie the score the rest of the way. The Pirates had eight corner kicks, five more than Mount Horeb, and outshot the Vikings, 13-6.
"They executed. We didn't," Pewaukee head boys soccer coach Randy Staus said. "I thought we played well enough to win, and we're in a position to win the game, but the game isn't about who has more time of possession or who takes more shots. You get points for goals. You score more, you win. It's that simple."
Vikings' head coach Mark Newman believed his team was fortunate on Friday and is all too familiar with the sometimes-thankless game.
"Pewaukee's a heck of a program," Newman said. "Truthfully there were times in the game where we were just holding on. They clearly had more chances then we did, but soccer can be a pretty cruel game sometimes."
Earlier this season, the Pirates defeated Mount Horeb, 2-1. Pewaukee reached the state tournament for the second time in school history (2008).
Shibilski had three saves for Pewaukee. Schulz ended up with eight saves for Mount Horeb.
Defender Jason Czech, midfielder Brian Patterson, midfielder Austin Rosenberger and forward Sohan Shah were the other seniors on Pewaukee's talented unit this fall.
"It was great to get to state again, but it was frustrating for everyone," Staus said. "We wanted to play one more day."
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