The Shorewood girls soccer team earned a badly needed boost in confidence when it beat area rival and 10th-ranked Nicolet, 4-1, for the championship in the Greyhounds' Eastside Cup on April 21.
"We have done a lot of figuring out of our team in these first few weeks," said coach Kyle Konkol. "We still have a lot of work to do but this win was a signal that we are heading in the right direction."
The Greyhounds broke a three-game losing streak with the two wins.
Shorerwood, which beat Milwaukee Rufus King, 6-1, in the semifinal on April 20, improved to 3-3-1 with the title. The Greyhounds have a busy three-game conference slate this week, as they will be at Pius XI on Thursday, April 27, and at Pewaukee on Saturday, April 29 (11 a.m.).
In the title game with Nicolet, the Greyhounds fell behind 1-0 on a goal from the Knights' Alexis Haupert, but Shorewood tied it up before the half on a score from Rachel Washington (assist Giovanna Zizzo). Shorewood then poured it on in the second half, as Josie Lang (Sofia Fardella), Washington (Abbey Drake) and Zizzo all scored.
"The championship game was hard-fought, intense and physical on both sides," said Konkol. "We both scored early and were tied 1-1 at half but Nicolet had the run of play in the first half. We made some adjustments at halftime and we were able to find our attack a little bit better.
"But there is no doubt that Nicolet is a good team. Their forwards are strong and fast and they had found plenty of opportunities, but our goalkeeper, Becky Jonen, played a spectacular game, cutting down angles and making 14 saves. Her teammates gave her the MVP of the game.
"Offensively for us we had the most balanced attack we've had yet this season. Giovanno Zizzo and Rachel Washington were dangerous all night on the wings for us. And we played off of them with strong midfield play by Abbey Drake and Karly Lamoreaux. A lot of players got involved in the attack and we scored in a variety of ways."
In the semifinal against King, Fardella scored three times while Lang, Drake and Catherine Puppe all had a score apiece. Zizzo added two assists while Abby Schill had one.