Brookfield is dominant no more as Falls' kickers beat both East and Central
Indians have now done it two years in a row
Menomonee Falls - It was one thing for the experienced and heady WIAA sectional finalist group of a year ago to beat both state powers Brookfield East and Brookfield Central in the same season.
Quite another for this young, but excited group of Menomonee Falls boys soccer players to repeat the feat, just as the Indians did on Aug. 28 with an impressive 2-0 win over Central. The Indians had used a little tenacity and a little luck to beat Brookfield East, 1-0, in the Greater Metro Conference opener on Aug. 21.
And the Indians didn't let all that success go to their heads as on Aug. 30, they beat previously unbeaten and third-ranked Kettle Moraine, 2-1, in a physical overtime thriller.
"It'll always be a big deal," Indians coach Scott Stein said. "We only had about five guys back (from last year), but the energy and excitement that this group has provided us with has just been great."
Falls entered play this week at 2-0 in Greater Metro Conference play and 7-2-1 overall. They take on Tosa East in another GMC tilt on Wednesday and then host state power Madison Memorial at 6 p.m. Thursday.
"It doesn't get any easier," Stein said.
But then again, anything worth having shouldn't be.
Composure leads to overtime win
Such as the win against Kettle Moraine (6-1). Falls drew first blood on a nice free kick from about 25 yards from Jamie Fox, just two minutes into the second half. In the physical, inconsistently officiated game, Falls could have been up 2-0 as the Indians hit a penalty kick a little later, but the official ruled that the goalie wasn't set on the play and ordered a re-kick, which this time the goalie saved.
Of more concern, top playmaker Nick Gonzales had to be helped off the field in the final minutes with an injury.
Given all that, it was no surprise that the Lasers eventually tied it on a penalty kick of their own in the 77th minute, but the Indians held their composure going into the overtime.
They got control of the ball early in the overtime as Tommy Wolf came through the middle and got a pass off to Jake Brust, who then poked it Alex Russo on the left side of the box.
From there, Russo slammed in the game-winner just 1:21 into the overtime.
"We've only had a couple of small letdowns this year," Stein said, "and we wanted to avoid that this time around. We had a case of butterflies for the first seven-eight minutes but then we relaxed and started playing."
Goalie Brendan Paule made eight saves for Falls.
Turning up the pressure
Against Central, Falls had the better of the play throughout the first half, but had nothing to show for it, settling for a 0-0 tie.
"And I told them that that was a dangerous situation," Stein said. "We knew we needed to get more pressure."
The Indians did almost immediately, as they seized control of the ball right away at the start of the second half. Gonzales got it to the top of the box, checked back and got the ball to Matt Dwyer on his right, who snapped it in, just 23 seconds into the half.
Falls had pretty good control the rest of the game, but the Indians had their lives complicated when they were hit with a red card with six minutes to go, meaning they had to play a man down for the rest of the game. Stein said he was able to reconfigure his formations and the defense was able to adapt.
"The final 15 minutes was pretty frantic though," he said.
The Indians got an insurance goal when Wolf played a great through-ball that Brust picked up and put into the right side of the goal on a counterattack with just over two minutes to go.
Stein is very happy with the level of play at this point, especially with as rugged as the GMC schedule was at its start.
"To go 4-0 in the regular season over East and Central over the last two years is amazing," he said, "especially with a lot of new guys, a lot of new faces out there. But we're deeper than we've ever been (about 17 players) and they've been playing hard, playing well."
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