Pirates Rout Jaguars in Boys Soccer
BY RICH PALZEWIC
SUAMICO – The Bay Port boys’ soccer team left little doubt in its game against Ashwaubenon on Oct. 12
Backed by a two-goal performance by senior Alex Craig, the Pirates easily handled the Jaguars in a 9-0 Fox River Classic Conference blowout on senior night.
It was the last regular-season game for both squads, as WIAA Regionals begin next week.
With the victory, Bay Port improved to 7-10-1 overall and 4-4-1 in the FRCC, while the Jaguars dropped to 4-16-1 overall and 1-8 in conference play.
Craig scored just 10 seconds into the game and added another later in the first half to help the Pirates get their first shutout of the year.
“That’s obviously the quickest I’ve ever scored,” said Craig. “Coach said he was sick of us just passing it back and forth. Brett (Fuglestad) sent me a good ball and I just put it in the back of the net. It was insane.”
Fuglestad, Jimmy Erickson, Griffin Pecore, Cy Schlueter and Justin Howe all scored first-half goals to help Bay Port coast to a 7-0 intermission lead. The Pirates led 3-0 six minutes into the game.
Andrew Nichols and Ken Franks added second-half goals to end the scoring.
“The way we started the season, I’m happy with the way we finished,” said Bay Port head coach Travis Herber. “The kids have really started to gel towards the end of the season. There were some games during the season we felt we just didn’t play well. The De Pere 2-2 tie, the 5-1 loss to Notre Dame and the 7-2 loss to Pulaski…those teams are not that much better than us. I’d almost like to say, ‘let’s play them now’ the way we are playing. We have all 24 of our guys back and healthy.”
Teams want to be playing their best at this time of the year, and the Pirates can say they are. In its last seven games, Bay Port is 6-1, with the only loss being a 3-1 decision to FRCC power Green Bay Preble.
“I’m expecting a five-seed and having to travel to Appleton West, just based on the records,” Herber said about the upcoming regionals. “They beat us 2-1 earlier in the season, so they have that feather in their cap. We will find out Sunday night.
“I’ve had good teams in regionals and lost, so we just need two (wins) to get to sectionals. I think we can sneak up on a few teams. The kids want it. There’s not a team in this regional that scares me.”
After a successful season a year ago when they finished 16-6-2 and made it to sectionals, the Jaguars lost 15 players to begin this year.
“We lost eight seniors, four kids that were foreign exchange students and another three to other sports,” said Ashwaubenon head coach Rick Kremer. “We are pretty much just decimated this season. On top of the kids we lost, we had low numbers to begin with. We had just 24 kids total come out for JV and varsity.”
It was also potentially the last time the group of 13 Bay Port seniors will play at home as well. The Pirates’ chances to host a playoff game seem to be scarce.
“It’s always tough to say goodbye to your seniors,” added Herber. “They are a good group. They are very close, behave and work hard. You can’t ask for more than that.”