Germantown soccer team clinches outright NSC crown
Warhawks earn sixth seed in sectional
Germantown - It was a fitting enough for Germantown boys soccer coach Omar Sethi and his overachieving Warhawks to clinch the North Shore Conference title with a 3-1 win over his former coach and mentor Rich Dorn and Homestead on Oct. 2.
Because Sethi's team meets a lot of his old coach's favorite criterias, such as hard work, tenacity, the ability to overcome adversity and just plain old-fashioned grit.
Because, as Sethi admitted, this version of his team is not as talented or as deep as the Warhawks crew that claimed a championship in 2010, but it stayed the course and met the challenge.
"It feels great," said Sethi. "… It wasn't one of our best games. The grass was long (at Homestead) just like coach Dorn likes it and the balls were terrible (no real bounce) and we were fighting against an opponent that was working hard for position (in the WIAA sectional) and for a .500 record.
"It also didn't hurt them that they were playing in their own house because they really came after us."
But the Warhawks responded and because of that, they were able to work past an opening North Shore campaign loss to Whitefish Bay and finish with a title-winning mark of 6-1 in league contests (14-5 overall).
They were unfortunately placed in the WIAA Brookfield Central sectional, which features most of the best teams in southeastern Wisconsin with the exception of the one-team state empire Marquette (50-0-3 over its last 53 games).
There, the Warhawks' fine record is only good for a sixth-seed. They host 11th-seeded Wauwatosa West on Tuesday in a regional semifinal. If they win that, they advance to a regional final, most likely at third-seeded and 10th-ranked in state Brookfield East Thursday (TBA).
Sectional play commences on Oct. 18. Classic 8 Conference champion and sixth-ranked Arrowhead is the top seed in the sectional and Greater Metro Conference runner-up Menomonee Falls is the two seed.
Whatever the outcome, Sethi is very happy with the way this season has progressed.
"This (a conference title) is not a place we'd thought we'd be," he said. "I thought we'd be a solid competitor but because of the talent we lost (to graduation), it just wouldn't happen (a conference title).
"But players like (Dan) Hougard, (Tom) Beine and (Paul) Ciszewski led us and they held the team together. They were supported by a team with great determination and a great work ethic."
All those points coalesced late against Homestead.
The action had been fast and furious from the start in a very physical match.
The Warhawks were finally able to capitalize in the 33rd minute as Beine (Jacob Agbuis assist) netted the game's first goal. In the 54th minute the visiting Warhawks made it a 2-0 lead as Ciszewski (Nate Bronikowski assist) found the back of the net.
The Highlanders farced the game to become a nail-biter with a goal in the 63rd minute. However, Germantown finally iced the game in the 77th minute on the second score of the night by Beine (Colin French assist).
"That (second) goal by Beine was an absolute hammer," Sethi said. "It really silenced the crowd."
He also noted that Ciszewski's goal was a thing of beauty, too.
"Homestead had transitioned deep into our end, but Ciszewski brought it all the way up and beat a player with a very clinical finish," Sethi said. "He hit it with great precision and at full-speed, which is not an easy thing to do, especially against a Dorn-coached team."
"Homestead put up a good fight. … I like my grass short and the balls to have more zip, but we were the better side overall. We had the talent and the determination."
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