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THE BASICS

What: The 38th annual WIAA state boys soccer tournament.

When: Thursday through Saturday.

Where: Uihlein Soccer Park, 7101 Good Hope Road, Milwaukee.

Tickets, parking: Tickets are $10. Parking is available for purchase at the stadium.

On the air/On the Web: Semifinals — Thursday’s and Friday’s matches will be streamed on the WIAA.tv portal of the NFHS Network, with a subscription fee of $10.99 per month. Archived streams will be available for free viewing 72 hours after the tournament. Championships — Saturday’s matches will be carried live on Fox Sports Wisconsin cable, and streamed live on FoxSportsGo.com with authentication.

Last year: Division 1 — Milwaukee Marquette won its fifth consecutive title, beating Sussex Hamilton, 3-0. D2 — Oregon beat New Berlin Eisenhower, 3-1. D3 — Milwaukee Pius XI beat McFarland, 3-1. D4 — University School of Milwaukee beat Amery, 2-1.

THE SCHEDULE

(Seedings in parentheses)

THURSDAY’S SEMIFINALS

Division 4: (1) Racine Prairie (16-1-5) vs. (4) Lake Mills (14-8-3), 11 a.m.; (2) Sturgeon Bay (20-4-1) vs. (3) Eagle River Northland Pines (15-3-4), 1:30 p.m.

Division 3: (1) McFarland (16-2-4) vs. (4) Rice Lake (17-4-1), 4:30 p.m.; (2) Shorewood (18-3-3) vs. (3) Seymour (20-1-0), 7 p.m.

FRIDAY SEMIFINALS

Division 2: (1) Brookfield East (16-2-2) vs. (4) New Richmond (21-2-1), 11 a.m.; (2) Elkhorn (21-1-0) vs. (3) Brookfield Central (13-6-1), 1:30 p.m.

Division 1: (1) Verona (19-1-2) vs. (4) Kenosha Tremper (11-7-2), 4:30 p.m.; (2) Eau Claire Memorial (19-1-3) vs. (3) Neenah (17-1-3), 7 p.m.

SATURDAY FINALS

Division 4: 11 a.m. Division 3: 1:30 p.m. Division 2: 4:30 p.m. Division 1: 7 p.m.

THE LOWDOWN

DIVISION 1
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Verona has earned the No. 1 seeding in its first-ever state appearance. Coach Chris Handrick’s Wildcats enjoyed a perfect run through the Big Eight Conference and take a nine-game winning streak to state, capped by a 1-0 victory over Madison West in a sectional final. The Wildcats, ranked third by state coaches, are the highest-ranking survivor as five-time champ Milwaukee Marquette and Hartland Arrowhead were knocked out in sectionals. Verona’s only loss was a 1-0 decision at De Pere on Sept. 28; the Wildcats also tied McFarland and Union Grove during their first six games. Senior Jack Knight leads the Wildcats in scoring with 14 goals and 31 points. The Big Eight Conference Player of the Year, senior Eliot Popkewitz, scored the winning goal against West and has 11 goals and 30 points. Junior forward Jonathan Gamez has 12 goals and 29 points, and senior goalkeeper Nate Hanson has a 0.57 goals-against average with 25 saves. The Wildcats recorded 15 shutouts and have allowed 11 goals all season.

Eau Claire Memorial, seeded second and ranked fifth by state coaches, has earned its 11th state berth and first since 2017. Coach David Kite’s Old Abes beat 10th-ranked Hudson and Appleton North in sectional play after winning the Big Rivers Conference. In 23 games, Memorial has 13 shutouts and has allowed 12 goals. The Old Abes have a 13-game winning streak, following their loss to Oregon. Senior forward Luke Rosenberger leads Memorial’s balanced attack with 13 goals and 31 points. Juinior midfielder Garrett Woodford has 12 goals and seniors Jacob Peloquin and Lu Shi Xiong have 10 apiece. Senior goalkeeper Scott Knowlton has 50 saves and a 0.50 goals-against average.

Neenah is seeded third and ranked eighth. Coach Brian Ross and his Rockets are making their 17th state trip, but their first since 2012, after beating second-ranked Hartland Arrowhead and ninth-ranked Mequon Homestead in sectional play. Neenah lost its fourth game to Oconomowoc and takes a 17-game unbeaten streak to state. The Rockets have 11 shutout victories and have allowed 11 goals all year. Senior forward Thomas Priest has 26 goals and top goalkeeper Ian Bogan, a senior has 21 saves and a 0.41 goals-against average.

Kenosha Tremper has earned the No. 4 seeding and beat Kenosha Bradford/Reuther to earn its eighth state trip and first since 2009. Coach Chris Tindall’s Trojans finished fourth in the Southeast Conference and are unranked. Junior forward Vincent Bennage leads the Trojans with 23 goals, and freshman goalkeeper Ben Wajerski has a 2.05 goals-against average.

DIVISION 2

Brookfield East holds the top seeding and the state coaches’ No. 1 ranking as it makes its 18th state tournament appearance but first since winning the 2014 championship. Coach Eric Hess’ Spartans lost only to Milwaukee Marquette and Sussex Hamilton on their way to a second-place finish in the Greater Metro Conference, and beat Cedarburg and third-ranked Whitefish Bay in sectionals. The Spartans have earned seven shutouts and have allowed 17 goals. Senior Keegan Mihm has 13 goals and junior Jack Corbett has 10. Freshman goalkeeper Anant Jhaveri has give wins and a 0.92 goals-against average.

Elkhorn, seeded second and ranked second, beat defending champion Oregon and Sauk Prairie in sectionals to earn its third state trip and first since 2016. Coach B.Z. Kayser’s Elks lost their season-opener to third-ranked Whitefish Bay but have won 21 consecutive games since then. The Elks have earned 13 shutouts and have allowed 16 goals. Elkhorn has gotten 21 goals from senior Devon Davey, 19 from senior Luis Roman and 17 each from senior Alec Birbaum and junior Luke Schoeneberg. Senior goalkeeper Preston Ward has made 89 saves.

Brookfield Central earned the No. 3 seeding and the coaches’ No. 10 ranking, and advanced to state for the first time since 2016 and the ninth time overall. Coach Daniel Makal’s Lancers finished third in the Greater Metro Conference after losing their last two regular-season matches to Brookfield East and Cedarburg, but beat fifth-ranked Wauwatosa West and Wauwatosa East in sectionals. Senior Marcelo Garay leads the offense with 16 goals, and senior goalkeeper Colin Szymborski has 83 saves.

New Richmond is at state for the third time overall and the third time in four years, but has yet to win at Uihlein. Coach Darian Blattner’s Tigers won the Middle Border Conference, losing only to Hudson and Wausau West during the regular season, and beat Onalaska and Hortonville to make state. The Tigers have 15 shutouts and have allowed 16 goals all year. They take a string of five shutouts to state. Senior forward Andrew Johnson has 39 goals and 34 assists for 112 points, and senior goalkeeper Carter Melby has 76 saves and a 0.76 goals-against average.

DIVISION 3

McFarland, last year’s runner-up, earned its third state trip and the No. 1 seeding after leading the state coaches’ poll for much of the season. Coach Brett Ogorzalek’s Spartans take an 11-game unbeaten streak to state, marred only by a 1-1 tie with Madison West, and beat Mount Horeb, 3-1, in a sectional final. McFarland’s only losses came to Monona Grove and Madison La Follette; the team also played Sun Prairie and Verona to ties. McFarland also recorded regular-season victories over power programs Madison Memorial, Madison Edgewood, Mount Horeb and Oregon. Sophomore forward Zach Nichols has a team-high 42 points, with 13 goals and 16 assists. Senior forward Ethan Nichols has a team-best 16 goals and 40 points. Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Schutt has a 0.54 goals-against average with 155 saves. The Spartans have allowed 18 goals all year, five in their loss to Monona Grove.

Shorewood earned the No. 2 seeding and the No. 3 state ranking, and is at state for the first time since 2004 and the third time overall after beating fifth-ranked New Berlin West in the sectional final. Coach Kyle Konkol’s Greyhounds finished second to Greendale in the Woodland Conference and have earned eight shutouts. Senior forward Austin Gayle has scored 34 goals and sophomore forward Denis Krioutchenkov has scored 29 times. Senior goalkeeper Ben Lichtenstein has a 1.50 goals-against average with 65 saves.

Seymour is seeded third and ranked fourth, beating Green Bay Notre Dame to earn its first state berth since 2016 and second overall. Coach Todd Messner’s Thunder won the Bay Conference and lost only once in the regular season, to Neenah. Seymour has 13 shutouts and has given up 13 goals on the year. Senior midfielder Keven Sosa-Lassila leads the team in scoring with 12 goals and 29 assists for 53 points. Sophomore midfielder Teig Driessen has 20 goals and 48 points. Senior goalkeeper Tyler VandeCorput has 94 saves and a 0.64 goals-against average.

Rice Lake heads to state for the fourth time and the first since making three straight trips from 2014 to 2016. Coach Shawn Gilbert’s Warriors, seeded fourth and ranked 10th, finished third in the mostly Division 1 Big Rivers Conference, losing twice apiece to ranked Eau Claire Memorial and Hudson, and beat Waupaca in a sectional final. The Warriors have 11 shutouts and have yielded 26 goals, 18 in their four losses. Senior forward Parker Bowman leads the offense with 26 goals and 61 points, and junior goalkeeper Zach Holmstrom has 152 saves and a 1.20 goals-against average.

DIVISION 4

Lake Mills earned its first-ever state trip after beating Hartland Lake Country Lutheran on penalty kicks, 3-2, after a 2-2 draw in a sectional final. Coach Tony Cooke’s L-Cats tied for third place in the Capitol Conference and lost three of their last five regular-season games before rallying against postseason competition. Junior forward John Wilke leads the L-Cats with 32 goals and 76 points. Sophomore midfielder Jalen Ortega has 10 goals and 24 points, junior forward Drew Stoddard has 10 goals and 23 points and sophomore midfielder Brayden Ciesiolka, who scored the winning penalty kick against Lake Country, has 11 goals and 23 points. Ciesiolka also doubles as the placekicker on Lake Mills’ 10-1 football team, which plays in a state quarterfinal on Friday. Senior goalkeeper Connor Osen has 161 saves and a 1.75 goals-against average, as the L-Cats have yielded 53 goals on the season.

Racine Prairie earned the top seeding and is ranked No. 2 by state coaches. Coach Corey Oakland’s Hawks beat Brookfield Academy to earn their ninth state trip and first since 2017. The Metro Classic Conference champions have earned 10 shutouts and allowed 24 goals all year. The Hawks haven’t lost since dropping their season opener to Mequon Homestead. Seniors Jason Frosch and Nicholas Hawkins lead the offense with 21 and 20 goals, respectively, and sophomore goalkeeper Devin Stoltenberg has a 1.10 goals-against average.

Sturgeon Bay, holding the No. 2 seeding and the no. 7 ranking, earned its third straight state trip and its sixth visit in the last seven years. Coach Todd Maas’ Clippers beat third-ranked Oostburg, 2-1 in overtime, after beating ninth-ranked Oshkosh Lourdes in sectional play. The Packerland Conference champs have earned 12 shutouts. Senior midfielder Eli Dietzel has 33 goals and senior midfielder Owen Stevenson has 22. Sophomore goalkeeper Joe Ward has a 1.10 goals-against average.

Eagle River Northland Pines, seeded third, earned its eighth state trip, but first since 2007, by beating Marshfield Columbus in a sectional final. Coach Mark Pinski’s Eagles take an 11-game unbeaten streak to state and have lost only to Michigan teams, twice to Marquette and once to Kingsford. Northland Pines has nine shutout wins. Senior midfielder Liam Oas has 22 goals and 54 points, and junior goalkeeper Colby Kruse has 135 saves and a 1.12 goals-against average.

Bucky!

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