Thursday, June 13, 2013

Freeman previews WIAA Girls Soccer Tourney

Catholic Memorial seniors going for third state championship in four years

By Daniel Mike

Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – John Burke is used to Uihlein Soccer Park.

The coach has taken the Catholic Memorial High School girls soccer team there to the state tournament eight times, and the team will make its eighth straight trip this weekend for the WIAA Division 2
state tournament.

Jeremy Hedrick got his first glimpse at a state tournament last year, coaching Lake Country Lutheran/University Lake/Trinity to the Division 3 tournament for the first time in program history.
The Lightning will make a second trip this weekend.
“I don’t think (this year) is quite as big a surprise, because we’ve seen what it takes to get to this point,” Hedrick said. “It’s still a bit of a surprise, because our sectional was tougher this year.

“Last year, we just kept going, ‘Hey, this is further than we’ve gotten before, so let’s have fun and see where it goes.’” Both will be vying for their second straight state championship, and CMH (20-0-1) is seeking its sixth WIAA title as the Crusaders won in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012.

The seniors are going for their third state title in four years. “The girls have had phenomenal success,” Burke said.

The Crusaders won a difficult sectional that included 2012 Division 1 state runner- up Grafton and very competitive teams in Pewaukee, Pius, Big Foot and Sheboygan Falls.

“It’s one thing going to state every year out of a weak sectional,” Burke said. “It’s a strong sectional every year, so to make it
through that tough sectional is impressive.”

Memorial lost only one starter from last season’s state-champion team, center back Katie Mark. But the addition of freshman Emily Cervantes, the team’s leading scorer, and moving senior Anna Jurken to Mark’s position has kept momentum going.

“We took one of our leading scorers from last year and moved her to center back, but she’s one of the most composed players you’d ever want to meet,” Burke said of Jurken. “She’s a senior, great leader, communicates extremely well.

“We’ve only given up eight goals, and Anna Jurken’s a big part of that.”

The Lightning lost five players from last season’s team, including leading scorer Jamie Schnuck, who excelled in the postseason.

“Luckily, we were able to find a few other players who finish well this year,” Hedrick said. “Our defense might not be as strong as it was last year, but our offense is really able to move the ball.

“I can’t stand kickball, where teams kick it over the top and chase after it. Me, I like to control possession of
the game. We don’t have too many subs to come off the bench so our best offense is to hold the ball as long as we can and wait for our opportunities to strike.”

Combining the three smallest high schools in Waukesha County hasn’t made the Lightning a large team in Division 3. The combined enrollment of Lake Country Lutheran, University Lake and Trinity is still below 300 students.

“None of us would make it on our own, for sure,” Hedrick said. “I try every year to get more and more people to come out, and I fail miserably to do so. I spent an hour at Trinity and University Lake over lunch periods to talk to girls to come out. I had little luck more than the girls I have out.

“The girls I’ve gotten have been outstanding. It always looks bad when you see a coop, but we still don’t have many students with it.”

Division 2 and 3 semifinals are Friday, with CMH playing Ashland at 3 p.m. in Division 2 and the Lightning playing Ozaukee at 9 a.m. The Division 3 title game is at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the Division 2 game is at noon.


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