Sussex - Hamilton's girls soccer team started the season out with two victories.
On Wednesday, the team blanked host West Bend East, 2-1, in overtime, and on Saturday the Chargers opened up their home schedule with a 4-0 victory against Kenosha Bradford.
After trailing the Suns 1-0 in the first half, Hamilton got its first goal of the season unassisted from Kara Bednarek.
In the seventh overtime minute, Robyn Elliott scored on an assist by Hannah Menzia.
Meghan Anthony had two saves in the match. Hamilton outshot the Suns, 15-2.
Robyn Elliott scored two goals against Bradford. Menzia and Kirsten Windbiel had the other goals.
Rachel Elliott had two assists, Menzia had one assist, and Anthony had two saves.
Thursday, Hamilton hosts Nicolet in a nonconference match. The squad returns to action after spring break with a Greater Metro Conference match against West Allis Central on April 17.
Replacing Jobke key
Last season, Hamilton ended up in third place in Greater Metro Conference play, posting the strongest league season in program history.
Racking up 15 victories again this spring hinges heavily on replacing all-state forward Jen Jobke and another player that was on the Greater Metro Conference all-league team in Kirsten Anderson.
The task remains a challenge: seven league matches against what is considered the state's best soccer conference.
The Hamilton girls soccer team will rely on four-year players Brooke Menzia and Kara Bednarek, along with juniors Meghan Anthony, Rachel Elliott, Robyn Elliott, Dani Fotsch, Morgan Gilbert, Emma Jelinski, Marlee Williams and Annmarie Zuzick to fill in for the graduated offensive punch.
"Jen Jokbe and Kirsten Anderson were major forces for our attack," said Hamilton head girls soccer coach Tom Konkol, in his 20th season as a head coach. "We have the proper blend of veteran players and newcomers. It could prove to be a very promising season."
Hannah Conant, Bella Jaegersberg, Hannah Menzia and Molly Matthiesen are sophomores on this year's roster back with varsity experience.
Taylor Mears and Kirsten Windbiel are freshmen working out with the varsity this spring.
"Juniors Robyn and Rachel Eliott provide a dynamic combination on offense along with sophomores Hannah Menzia and Molly Matthiesen, and our defense is bolstered by junior goalie Meghan Anthony, Annamarie Zuzick and Hannah Conant," Konkol said.
As for predictions in the Greater Metro?
"I have learned over recent years that there are six out of eight teams that can potentially position themselves for a championship run," Konkol said. "Last season, we found ourselves as one of those contenders. Perhaps this year we can do the same."
Softball team eyes title
Jim Lawinger enters his 35th year as girls softball coach at Hamilton High School expecting his team to improve on last year's 6-8 Greater Metro Conference record. Hamilton returns five starters this year, including four two-year starters.
Junior Jenny Shernell, a shortstop, hit .389 last season and Lawinger believes the sky's the limit this year.
"Jenny will be one of the best players in the conference this year," Lawinger said.
Sydney Sprinkel, also a junior, is a pitcher who hit .362 along with pitching classmate Emily Jensen.
"They have started the last two years and I'm expecting breakout years for them this year," Lawinger said.
Junior Sami Williams hit .494 a year ago. The outfielder led the team in seven offensive categories. Katie Weber was an honorable mention infielder. The senior will play third base for the Chargers this year.
Taylor Vigani is a sophomore second baseman who played the flex position last year.
"Vigani is a great hitter," Lawinger said.
Kelsey Mason is a sophomore first baseman. Tori Meyer and Mariah Schlundt are also first basemen on this year's team.
Some newcomers to the team will be sophomore second baseman/outfielder Whitney Wnuk, sophomore catcher Bailee Bobert, junior third baseman Cassidy Schilz and junior outfielder Casey Walther.
Lawinger believes Menomonee Falls, West Allis Hale, Brookfield East and his team are favorites to win the conference championship, but he especially likes what he sees with his team.
"Hamilton will be in the running for their first conference championship since 1992," Lawinger said. "This season should be a real tight affair for the first five top teams."
On April 14, the Chargers play a doubleheader at Slinger. After the season-opening Greater Metro Conference game at West Allis Central, the Chargers host Brookfield East on April 19.
Goecks to lead golfers
The Hamilton varsity boys golf team started getting some swings in last week in preparation for the upcoming season.
Junior Nate Goecks, a second team All-Greater Metro Conference performer last spring for the Chargers, leads the way for the Chargers. Austin Kendziorski, a sophomore, was the second leading scorer for Hamilton last year.
Golf coach Stan Grove said the team features several promising players including senior Jackson Cosson, senior Ryan Hanrahan, junior Mitch Olson, sophomore Kevin Jansen and freshman Nate Hermsen.
Other seniors in the program include Brandon Bobb, Matt Coe, Michael Colt, Dan Herriges, Tim Jansen, Matt Judson and Doug Zalewski. Juniors include Andrew Johnson, Conner Last and A.J. Mamerow.
"There's going to be a lot of competition for the third, fourth and fifth spots on the team," Grove said. "We are looking forward to being very competitive in the Greater Metro Conference this season."
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