GT, Falls prepare for border clash in soccer sectional
Area powers have not met this season
There will be much more on the line than usual when border rivals Menomonee Falls and Germantown clash in a WIAA boys soccer sectional semifinal at Falls on Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Indians (19-3-2), ranked seventh in state and top-seeded in the sectional Indians, will try to advance to their third sectional final this decade with a chance to earn their first-ever state tournament berth. The Warhawks (9-4-0) will try to stamp one more piece of validation on a reloading season.
Plus, there is that border rivalry thing to consider.
"I think that this will be a good, intense battle," said Indians coach Scott Stein. "A lot of the kids play club against one another so it ought to be a lot of fun for everyone."
Falls earned its berth with regional wins last week over West Allis Central (7-2) and Pius XI (1-0 in overtime) while Germantown earned its regional title with a pair of gritty 2-1 wins over Tosa West and Arrowhead.
"This shows that the kids have stayed mentally in the game," said Warhawks coach Omar Sethi. "It looks very promising for us. We didn't play the Falls this year but they have several dangerous players and it looks like it could be a good contest.
"The fact that we're neighbors should make looking forward to it rather easy."
The winner of the contest will face either Wauwatosa East or second-seeded Brookfield East in a WIAA sectional final back at Brookfield Central at 7 p.m. Saturday. The state tournament will be at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee from Oct. 27 to 29.
Falls lost in sectional finals in 2006 and 2007.
"The biggest thing for us," said Stein, "is to come in and maintain our intensity. We know anybody can beat anybody at this point."
The Indians had a bit of a harrowing trip to get to the sectional. A gritty Pius XI team took them to overtime before they finally broke through and won in last Thursday's regional final. Just over a minute into the start of overtime, Skyler Hying played a nice give-and-go with Nick Burgoyne. Burgoyne gave the ball back to Hying, who pounded the ball into the upper-right corner from 20 yards out at the 81:14 mark.
"Their (the Popes) keeper made a great play about 40 seconds in, so I had a feeling it might be a long one," said Stein.
In the rout of Central in the Oct. 11 regional semifinal, Nick Gonzales and Jake Brust had two goals each while Burgoyne, Will VanderHorst and Elliott Janssen-Saldivar all had solo shots.
Janssen-Saldivar and Greg Duckert each had two assists.
For Germantown, senior midfielder Brad Bane finished off a chaotic first half in the regional final with Arrowhead last Thursday with the game-winner as he made a strong transition rush up the middle of the field, beating two opponents near the box and then hit a shot up and wide that went by the keeper.
"He does that kind of stuff again and again," said Sethi. "It's the difference between him and a lot of other players."
Bane had scored the first goal of the game on a penalty kick less than 10 minutes into the start only to have Arrowhead tie the score a short time later.
Sethi was pleased with the defense as the Warhawks held off one Arrowhead rush after another.
In the Oct. 11 regional semifinal win over Tosa West, Germantown got off to a 2-0 lead on goals by Bane and Michael Busch.
Sethi was happy with the effort this past week.
"Things were a little more difficult for us this year, but we were able to get some things done here at the end," he said.
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