The Menomonee Falls boys soccer team has been an upper tier team for more than half-a-decade now and the loss of nine good seniors from last season is not going to slow them down at all this fall based on the Indians' 3-0 start.
They downed defending WIAA Division 3 state champ St. Anthony's by a 4-1 count on Aug. 20 and then won the Racine Case tournament on Aug. 21 with a 2-1 decision over the host school and a 4-0 triumph against Elkhorn.
"Those were good wins," Indians coach Scott Stein said. "We're going to be a little bit of an in-between team this season (in terms of experience). We had those nine seniors but we also had a lot of juniors contribute, too."
Falls' starting schedule does not let up this week. They took on Wauwatosa East in their first Greater Metro Conference tilt on Tuesday and then played nonconference foe Wauwatosa West on Wednesday. Then this weekend, they will be at the Pewaukee Tournament where they will play Oregon at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Madison Edgewood at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The Indians finished 18-5-3 last season, and were second to defending state D1 champion Marquette in the Greater Metro (5-1-1). They claimed a WIAA regional title and dropped a wrenching 3-2 sectional semifinal decision to league rival and eventual state qualifier Brookfield East.
Falls and Marquette will play a game on the Indians' home field on Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. that will be broadcast by Time Warner.
Key returnees for the Indians this year include six seniors, three of whom serve as the co-captains. The captains are defender Tommy Wolf, and midfielders Connor Young and Nick Gonzales. Gonzales is the last of four brothers who have acquitted themselves well with the Falls' soccer program.
Other senior returnees include midfielder Will Vander Horst, defender Collin Dowling and forward Alex Russo. Key junior contributors include midfielders Alex Eastman and Kay Olapo and defender Joey Burgoyne.
"I think we'll be a better team technically than we were last year," Stein said, "and faster, too. We had really good leadership last season and I'm hoping this year's seniors can rise to the level of last year's group."
In the victory over St. Anthony's, the Indians scored three second half goals to pull away. Vander Horst had two goals and Russo and junior forward Brandon Dantone one each.
Against Case, Russo gave the Indians the early lead (Gonzales assist) only to see the Eagles tie it up early in the second half. Dowling got the game-winner at the 59 minute mark with help from junior defender Ian Storts.
And in the final vs. Elkhorn, Storts, Gonzales, Burgoyne and Dantone all found the back of the net as Russo had two assists and Eastman and senior midfielder Bryce Meyers one each.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Falls baseball team routs Franklin for state championship
- Hansen, Menomonee Falls baseball team get weight lifted with title
- Tokoto makes stop at Falls Fest after NBA draft
- Manchester was a giant in world of Menomonee Falls athletics
- Six-run fourth lifts Menomonee Falls to semifinal win over Pewaukee
- Battle-tested Menomonee Falls confident heading into state tourney
- Baseball: Nothing fazes Falls as Indians head to state for first time since 2008
- Menomonee Falls baseball team turns to Gile again, survives regional test
- Baseball: Gile rescues Falls again in 4-3 regional win over Whitefish Bay
- Confident Menomonee Falls baseball team wins GMC tourney title