CMH’s big second half downs Muskego
Brown nets hat trick
WAUKESHA — A helping hand.
That’s what the Catholic Memorial High School boys soccer team got Thursday night.
As a result, the Crusaders grabbed a rewarding 4-2 Classic 8 Conference victory over Muskego — with all four goals coming in the second half after a hand ball penalty.
With the win, Memorial improved to 1-1 in Classic 8 play, 4-3 overall.
“Any time you can get a ‘W’ in the Classic 8, it’s huge,” Memorial coach John Bisswurm said. “I’d like to see us put 90 minutes together. We came out flat and they made us pay for it. We came with higher pressure and more intensity in the second half and we capitalized on that. Again, we feel fortunate to come out with the win tonight.”
CMH senior Eric Brown scored three second half goals, including the one that seemed to turn the game Memorial’s way.
Holding a 1-0 from the game’s first minute, Muskego was whistled for a hand ball just outside the 18. CMH junior Connor Alba placed the ball down and sent a sharp pass to Brown, who broke toward the goal. The pass found Brown’s foot for a game-tying goal at the 52:22 mark of the second half.
“That was a big play for us,” Brown said of the hand ball and subsequent goal. “That was a great read by Alba to see me cutting there. That was the jump start we needed to get back on track. We had been pressuring them, but to finally get on to the back of the net was the key.”
The Muskego side was “disappointed” to say the least.
“We were disappointed because it hadn’t been called a hand ball all game,” Muskego coach Eric Hess said. “It was ‘play on, playon’ before that and after that it was ‘play-on, play-on.’ We were disappointed that he chose that moment to decide to call this now. It was a lack of focus on our part and everyone was watching the ball.”
Alba put Memorial ahead 2-1 in the 58th minute with an assist from sophomore Lucas Morris.
Memorial kept the pressure on with a couple of near misses before Morris drilled a shot and deflected off Muskego goalie Luke Horozewski and right to Brown in front of the goal for an easy one – and a 3-1 lead at the 66:01 point.
“Eric is one of our captains and one of our leaders,” Bisswurm said. “He’s going to make a difference, so he’ll do whatever it takes and tonight he had a big night.”
Muskego cut the lead in half 3-2 when sophomore Travis Bednarek headed home a cross from senior Declan Alberti in the 68th minute.
“Once we took the lead, we allowed them back in it and that’s something we need to clean up,” Bisswurm said. “Our possession still isn’t where we want it and we had defensive lapses at times. We still have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Ahead 3-2, Brown delivered again when Morris ripped a shot at Horozewski from the left
“Coach (Bisswurm) always tells us to follow it up,” Brown said. “I saw that he (Horozewski) had a couple (shots) come off him with the crosses, so I followed them all in and got a couple on the doorstep.”
“We can’t close out games,” Hess said. “This is the fourth game that we’ve been up 1-0 or 0-0 at half. We go too much into a defensive shell and lose that excitement until it’s too late. We’ve made that stand in the past, but this year we’re struggling to make 1-0 stand. We have yet to keep anyone out of the back of the net all season and we’re still looking for our first shutout. We’re a hard working team, but along with being a young team, that ‘smart-working’ isn’t there yet.”
With the loss, Muskego, the defending Division 1 state champions, fell to 0-2 in league play, 1-7 overall. The Warriors have no returning starters from that team and only three returning varsity players.