Bay Port one game away from state
Bay Port’s Sofia Draghicchio heads a ball in the Pirates’ 4-0 victory over Appleton West June 6 (Melinda Palzewic photo).
BY RICH PALZEWIC
SUAMICO – The Bay Port girls’ soccer team is one win away from a return trip to the WIAA D1 state tournament.
The Pirates used an early onslaught to post a 4-0 victory over Appleton West in a sectional semifinal game June 6 at Bay Port High School.
Grace Krause (4th minute) and Anna Gulan (11th minute) had back-to-back headers early in the game for the No. 1 state-ranked Pirates (21-1).
“We came out fast and moved the ball really well,” said Bay Port head coach Brooke Mraz. “We kept them on their heels – our game plan was to make sure we stayed wide so that we transitioned together. I think the first 15 minutes it was ‘go time.’ Our girls knew they had to come out hard and quick at the whistle. They executed that very well.”
Bay Port will travel to Wausau West High School on Saturday, June 9, to play the winner of Eau Claire Memorial/Stevens Point in the sectional finals for the right to play in Milwaukee June 14 in the state semifinals.
“It’s exciting,” Mraz added. “It’s moved so fast … because the season was so short, I can’t believe it’s this time of the year. All in all, the girls are where they deserve to be. They have worked really hard. They’ve built on a very sound foundation from last year. We’ve amped up some weapons by bringing in some underclassmen – and some juniors as well … they’ve earned this right to be playing for the sectional championship. I’m really proud.”
The Pirates also got two goals from sophomore Emma Nagel in the second half – one in the 61st minute off a corner kick from McKenzie Johnson and the other with 30 seconds remaining after Erika Hess gave her a good ball to handle.
“I was frustrated when I got the yellow card,” said Nagel, who got the yellow for making contact with the Appleton goalie earlier in the second half. “(On my second goal) Erika played a beautiful ball and it just slipped right through the defense … all I had to do was tap it in. It was off my right foot.”
Nagel, Alaina Abel, Hess and Johnson all had assists.
Bay Port outshot the Terrors (13-4-2) by a 25-11 margin and also had 11 corner kicks compared to Appleton’s four.
Goalie Gabby Noack saved all four shots that were on goal.
Notes: Hess was named the Fox River Classic Conference offensive player of the year (and first team), while Nagel, Abel and Johnson were selected first team. Anna Gulan, Alexis Brunette and Grace Krause made second team, and Noack was honorable mention.