Friday, October 22, 2010

Boys Soccer Peaking at right time

from today's Waukesha Freeman --

CMH 1, Pewaukee 0

Crusaders a game away from state
Horvat scores game-winner
By Jeff Hagenau Freeman Correspondent

PEWAUKEE – One big shot. That’s what made the difference as the second-seeded Catholic Memorial High School boys soccer team outlasted top-seeded Pewaukee 1-0 in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal game Thursday.

Memorial, which won its third straight to improve to 16-6-1 overall, advanced to face another No. 2 seed, New Berlin West, in a sectional championship game at Pewaukee at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

It was the third consecutive postseason shutout for the Crusaders, who have combined to outscore their three playoff opponents 5-0. Memorial outshot the Pirates 10-5 in the physical, fast-paced contest, including a barrage of seven shots on goal and two corner kicks in the momentum-shifting first half.

As the game remained scoreless with seven minutes remaining in the first half, junior forward Aaron Horvat scored what proved to be the winning goal unassisted at the 33:01 mark. On the decisive play, Horvat took possession on the left side and quickly fired a strong shot that was blocked by a defender. The ball ricocheted back to Horvat, who sprinted toward the middle past a defender and blasted a hard shot into the right corner of the net. “When I tried to cross the ball toward the middle, it came back my way,” said Horvat, who generated six of his team’s seven total shots in the opening 40 minutes despite continuing to play with a nagging hip injury that has plagued him throughout the season.

“After the defender went for it, I was able to beat everyone to the ball and put it in the goal. We dominated during most of the first half so it was great to finally finish one off. “We dedicated this game to one of our injured teammates (junior Nate Craft) so it was special to get the job done.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Zingsheim was a stabilizing force for the Crusaders defense, recording four saves. “I was just hoping that they wouldn’t score in the final few seconds,” said Zingsheim, who made a key save on a Pewaukee corner kick in the 71st minute. “There was a lot of pressure with the game being on the road in front of a loud, hostile crowd, so it was a great feeling to walk away with a hard-fought shutout. “It was just a matter of stepping up to make the stops and clearing the ball out as far as possible. Looking back, it was scary at times when they attempted some shots down the stretch but our defense rose to the occasion.”

Memorial coach John Bisswurm was pleased with how his team maintained its focus for an entire 80 minutes. “We knew it was going to be a war so we feel very fortunate to get through to the next round,” he said. “Aaron (Horvat) has consistently delivered throughout the season despite his limitations and today he just did it again. Throughout the day, we didn’t give them a lot of open looks and managed to make some big stops at key times. That perseverance was the key to our success.”

Pewaukee had four golden opportunities to score in the final eight minutes but couldn’t convert, including a corner kick with six seconds remaining. “It was a disappointing way to end an otherwise fantastic season,” said Pewaukee coach Randy Staus, whose team ended the season 15-4-3 overall. “At this level of the tournament, each possession is important and every shot becomes magnified to maximum. They just executed a big one when they needed it in the first half. We had some good opportunities after that happened and couldn’t finish the plays.

“They just seem to be our nemesis every time we try to make a serious run for state. In baseball, the Minnesota Twins can never beat the New York Yankees and in soccer we can’t beat CMH.”

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