Friday, June 10, 2011

Crusader Girls step closer to another State Tournament

from today's Waukesha Freeman --

Crusaders defeat Pewaukee
By Jeff Hagenau Freeman Correspondent

WAUKESHA – The afternoon belonged to Karly Lentz. Lentz, a senior midfielder, scored two goals to help lead the top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Catholic Memorial High School girls soccer team to a 2-0 victory over second-seeded and No. 2-ranked Pewaukee in a physical WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal game in front of a large, enthusiastic crowd at Carroll University on Thursday.

It was the 14th shutout of the season for the defending state champion Crusaders, who improved to 18-6-2 overall and advanced to meet the winner of today’s top-seeded Shorewood vs. third-seeded Port Washington game in a sectional championship game at Pewaukee at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Memorial has combined to outscore its three playoff opponents 11-0. Lentz converted what became the winning goal on a penalty kick at the 12:48 mark for Memorial, which has combined to outscore its three playoff opponents 11-0. The game-winner came immediately following a Pewaukee yellow card assessed as Memorial senior forward Nikki Condit was thrown to the ground just to the left of the goalie’s box. “I just tried to stay composed and make the most of the situation,” said Lentz, one of only four seniors on the roster this season.

“Nikki (Condit) battled hard inside to create an opportunity for a penalty kick, so it was just a matter of staying calm and working through the pressure.” Lentz’s second goal came on a header in the 59th minute to successfully take advantage of a perfectly placed corner kick by Condit.

The Crusaders attempted eight corner kicks in the second half. Condit, positioned in the far right corner of the field, served up a line-drive shot toward the middle of the box. Lentz quickly worked behind a defender, perfectly timed her leap and headed the ball into the middle of the net. “The game was won on restarts because it was so difficult to get a goal off of running a play,” said Condit, noting having grown up playing soccer with Pewaukee senior goalkeeper Caitlyn Rosenberger and senior forward Riley Kirchoff. “We’ve really been working on corner kicks in practice so it was great to see Karly (Lentz) get a head on the ball and finish it off.”

Junior goalkeeper Greta Davis was a stabilizing force down the stretch, making two key saves in the final five minutes to help preserve a shutout. Memorial veteran coach John Burke was happy with his team’s intensity and tenacious effort for an entire 80 minutes. “It was a great statement game,” Burke said. “When we still had a one-goal lead in the second half, the girls responded by attacking and keeping the ball at the other end of the field. When that happened, we were able to control possession and finally convert another big goal to put the game away.

“Throughout the season, we’ve played an extremely difficult schedule and today our experience in those games paid big dividends. We just came out on a mission and delivered another dominating performance.”

Pewaukee finished the season the 21-2-1 overall. “I was very proud of our effort from start to finish,” Pewaukee coach Rick Kocchi said. “We played hard, were in the game the entire way and never backed down.”

Photos: Top -- Charles Auer/Freeman Staff Catholic Memorial senior midfielder Karly Lentz goes up for a header over Pewaukee freshman midfielder Abbey Toureen on Thursday.

Bottom -- Charles Auer/Freeman Staff Catholic Memorial senior forward Nikki Condit, left, congratulates senior midfielder Karly Lentz after Lentz’s goal in the second half of the WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal game against Pewaukee on Thursday.

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