What: The 37th annual WIAA state boys soccer tournament.
When: Thursday through Saturday.
Where: Uihlein Soccer Park, 7101 W. Good Hope Road, Milwaukee.
Tickets/parking: Tickets are $8 per two-game session and are available at the gate. Parking will be sold on site for $5.
On the air/online: Saturday’s four championship matches will be carried live on Fox Sports Wisconsin. Quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be carried on the WIAA.tv portal of the NFHS Network, viewable on a subscription basis. Information on the tournament, including live scoring of each match, can be found at https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/BoysSoccer.aspx
Format: Four teams qualify in each of four divisions, with Division 2 and 3 semifinals on Thursday and Division 1 and 4 semifinals on Friday. Finals will take place on Saturday.
Last year’s finals: Division 1 — Milwaukee Marquette 2, Hartland Arrowhead 1; Division 2 — Whitefish Bay 6, Oregon 1; Division 3 — Mount Horeb 2, Delavan-Darien 1. Division 4 — Racine Prairie 1, Sturgeon Bay 0.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Carter Abbott, sr., GK, Milwaukee Marquette: Has allowed nine goals in 985 minutes, a 0.82 goals-against average, with 61 saves. Earned All-State honorable mention last year.
Caleb Blair, sr., M, McFarland: An All-State honorable mention pick last year, Blair has 18 goals and nine assists for the Spartans.
Madison Conduah, sr., F, Oregon: Has paced the Panthers’ offense with 22 goals and nine assists.
Ivan Cuellar, sr, F, and Ryan Pogodzinski, sr., D, Milwaukee Pius XI: Both earned All-State honorable mention last year, and this year, Cuellar leads the Popes with 35 goals and 28 assists, and Pogodzinski has 14 goals and 11 assists while leading a defense that has allowed 30 goals.
Kyle Hagerman, sr., F, Sun Prairie: A candidate for state player of the year, Hagerman has 47 goals and 13 assists against top-shelf competition in the Big Eight Conference.
Calen Koy, sr., F, Amery: Koy has produced 60 goals and 21 assists for the Warriors.
Ian Nelson, sr. D, and Willy Kornetzke, jr., F, Cedarburg: Both players earned All-State honorable mention last year. This year, Kornetzke leads the Bulldogs with 11 goals and 15 assists, and Nelson leads a Bulldogs defense that has 11 shutouts and has allowed 16 goals.
Jacek Nickowski, sr., F, Baldwin-Woodville: An honorable mention All-State pick last year, Nickowski leads the state in scoring with 68 goals and 26 assists for 162 points.
Osvaldo Sanchez-Arellano, sr., MF, Milwaukee Marquette: Leads the Hilltoppers’ balanced offense with 14 goals and 10 assists.
Tenth-ranked Sun Prairie (14-5-3) beat third-ranked Kettle Moraine on penalty kicks to earn the program’s first state tournament berth. Coach Tok Kim’s Cardinals went 0-3-1 to close the regular season, but rebounded with four tournament victories, including loss-avenging wins over Middleton and Verona. Senior defenseman Andrew Shanahan and senior midfielder Sam Kopotic have 31 and 25 points, respectively, and senior Ryan Traut has 54 saves and a 1.05 goals-against average. … Top-ranked Milwaukee Marquette (18-1-2) seeks its fifth consecutive state championship (14th overall), and the Hilltoppers are making their 18th state trip in the 19 years that they have been in the WIAA. Coach Steve Lawrence’s team also won 14 WISAA state titles. The Hilltoppers did not lose to a Wisconsin opponent, falling 2-1 to Peoria (Ill.) Notre Dame and tying Morton (Ill.) Cicero and Naperville (Ill.) North by identical 2-2 scores. Junior Luke Thew and sophomore Gabe Anguil have 14 goals each and junior Miguel Herrera has 13.
Fourth-ranked Sussex Hamilton (15-1-3) beat Oshkosh West in a sectional final to earn its first state berth. Coach Steve Provan’s Chargers have gotten 20 goals and four assists from junior Bennett Pauls and 48 saves and a 0.85 goals-against average from senior goalkeeper Grant Frohna. … Sixth-ranked Green Bay Preble (17-1-6), back at state for the second time in three years, earned runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2016. Coach Chris Becker’s Hornets won back-to-back shootouts over Appleton North and Hudson to make state. Senior forward Nick Hummel has 17 goals and 16 assists, and junior forward Owen Brennah has 16 goals and four assists.
Fourth-ranked Cedarburg (15-2-2) earned the No. 1 seeding after a shootout victory over the state’s top-ranked team, North Shore Conference rival Whitefish Bay, in a sectional final. It’s the 12th state trip and first since 2015 for coach Patrick Sorensen’s Bulldogs, who last won a state title in 1996 and have finished second three times this decade. … Ninth-ranked New Berlin Eisenhower (16-3-1) made its first state trip in 1997 and hasn’t been back until this fall. Coach Neil Dombrowski’s Lions beat Wauwatosa West in a sectional final and have won 14 of their last 15 games. Sophomore forward Adam Joda has a team-high 13 goals.
Second-ranked Oregon (18-2-2) set a state record with 15 shutouts this season, including 14 shutouts in its last 16 games, and advanced to state for the second year in a row and ninth time overall with a shootout victory over Elkhorn following a 1-1 tie. Coach Chris Mitchell’s Panthers have allowed 13 goals all season, with senior goalkeeper Duncan Morgan making 38 saves. Panthers junior midfielder Collin Bjerke has 18 goals and 15 assists. … Unranked Holmen (22-1-1) earned the program’s first-ever state berth with a 1-0 victory over Green Bay Southwest in its sectional final. Coach Guy Turner’s Vikings, the Mississippi Valley Conference champs, have 12 shutout victories and haven’t lost since falling 2-1 to Pulaski in their third game. Senior midfielder Jacob Clements has 15 goals, junior midfielder Quintin Olson has 15 and junior forward Matt Espelien has 14.
Third-ranked McFarland (18-4) earned the No. 1 state seeding after a 3-1 victory over Madison Edgewood in a sectional final. Coach Brett Ogorzalek’s Spartans have gotten 21 goals and seven assists from junior forward Ethan Nichols. Matt Schutt has 62 saves and a 0.96 goals-against average. … Unranked Plymouth (14-4-5) earned a return state trip after a 3-0 victory over Appleton Fox Valley Lutheran in a sectional final. Coach John Lenz’s Panthers have won four consecutive tournament games after closing the regular season with an 0-2-2 run. Senior forward Keegan Gafney has 21 goals.
Coach Hanzi Herzog’s second-ranked Milwaukee Pius XI (20-3-2), seeded second in the state field, downed Waukesha Catholic Memorial in overtime and New Berlin West on penalty kicks to advance to state for the second time ever and first since 2000. … Seventh-ranked Baldwin-Woodville (20-0-2) has ridden the scoring prowess of senior Jacek Nickowski (68 goals) to the program’s first state berth. Coach Krzysztof Nickowski, who attended college in Gdansk, Poland, has led the team to an undefeated season married only by ties against Middle Border Conference foe and Division 1 state qualifier Amery.
Second-ranked University School of Milwaukee (16-2-1) is making its first state trip since finishing second in 2015 and winning the title in 2013. Coach Jock Mutschler’s Wildcats have won nine of 10 outings, including a 3-0 sectional win over Racine St. Catherine’s. Senior forward Matias Dermond has 25 goals and six assists, and sophomore Donovan Jones has 13 goals and 17 assists. … Unranked Sturgeon Bay (16-7-1), last year’s runner-up and the 2015 state champ, knocked off Kohler and Howards Grove to return to Milwaukee. Coach Todd Maas’ Clippers have an 11-game unbeaten streak (10-0-1) after a 6-7 start. Junior forward Eli Dietzel has 39 goals and five assists.
Tenth-ranked Amery (17-0-4), a state participant in Division 3 last year, dropped to Division 4 this year and downed Arcadia, 8-0, in a sectional final. Coach Flint Kans and the Warriors haven’t lost all year, tying Division 3 qualifier Baldwin-Woodville twice and New Richmond and Hayward once each. … Sixth-ranked Jackson Kettle Moraine Lutheran (16-5-3) earned the program’s first state trip with a 3-2 sectional victory over Watertown Luther Prep. Coach Matt Moeller’s Chargers have an eight-game unbeaten streak (6-0-2) and have lost only once in 17 games after a 2-4-1 start. Senior forward Jake Semenske has contributed 20 goals and nine assists.
— Art Kabelowsky