Nagel’s early goal carries Bay Port over De Pere
By Rich Palzewic
SUAMICO – Before the season started, Bay Port girls’ soccer head coach Brooke Mraz said De Pere would be a team to watch.
She was correct.
Emma Nagel scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 Fox River Classic Conference victory for Bay Port over the Redbirds April 23.
Nagel’s header early in the seventh minute off a Katy Kane corner kick was all the Pirates would need.
“De Pere is a very good team,” said Mraz, whose team improved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the FRCC. “Any win is a good win – it was a tightly matched game. We got a little bit away from our traditional style of play, but we are still learning and growing. We will get better. We didn’t get off as many shots as I’d like.”
Mraz said she likes her team to shoot upwards of 30 times in each game, but the Pirates only managed 15 against De Pere (3-2, 1-1).
Defensively, the Pirates have given up only four goals this season, all of which came in a 4-1 loss to Kimberly April 5.
The Redbirds also lost a 4-1 game to Kimberly last week.
“We are playing very sound defensively as well,” Mraz added. “It’s not always as pretty as we’d like, but it’s still early in the season.”
The Redbirds had 10 shots of their own in 90 minutes of play, with six being on goal.
They had a golden opportunity to tie the game with seven minutes remaining after Taylor Witteck got behind the Bay Port defense, but Pirates goalie Megan Nygaard came out and knocked the ball away, only to see Annika Zastrow get off a left-footed shot that missed the net by a couple of feet.
“We knew going in that Nagel was good on getting those corner kicks in,” said De Pere head coach Andy Steger. “She’s a taller girl – that was the difference in the game. I felt we did some good things and had just some good opportunities, just not enough. We wanted to come out and battle with Bay Port, and I thought we did that.”
Steger lauded the defensive play of Skyler Meulemans and Alexis Piette, who had the tough task of keeping Bay Port’s McKenzie Johnson and Nagel in check.
“Skyler has been playing some great defense for us this season,” Steger added. “She did a great job on Johnson, who is a fantastic player. Alexis also held Nagel in check for the most part. I was very happy with our defense.”