When the St. Catherine’s High School boys soccer team won the WIAA Division 4 state championship last season, the Angels had fallen short of winning the Metro Classic Conference title a few weeks earlier.
That first step has been taken care of this season.
Manny Barajas scored three goals Wednesday afternoon in leading St. Catherine’s to a 6-0 victory over Whitefish Bay Dominican at Whitefish Bay to win the MCC championship. Juan Mejia and Axel Soria each had two assists and Alberto Gavan and Traykiese Gillentine combined for nine saves.
“This is a nice little confidence builder right before the playoffs,” St. Catherine’s coach Ben Lake said.
A strong St. Catherine’s defense was led by Ernesto Gomez, Conor Devine and Sam French.
St. Catherine’s (8-5-2, 6-0-1 MCC) plays the winner of a Tuesday quarterfinal between Racine Lutheran and Richland Center at 4 p.m. next Thursday in a Division 4 regional semifinal at the SCORe.
PRAIRIE 10, RACINE LUTHERAN 0: Playing with what Prairie coach Corey Oakland said was “a new positive attitude,” the Hawks rolled to a 7-0 halftime lead en route to a Metro Classic Conference victory.
Nolan Wolf scored three goals for the Hawks (9-4-3, 5-1-1 MCC), while Nick Hawkins and Daniel Dreifuerst each added two. Wolf also had two assists.
Oakland credited the Crusaders, saying, “I thought Lutheran did an excellent job, especially in the second half, of tightening up their defense.”
James Gehne had five saves for Lutheran.
Lutheran (1-14-1, 0-6 MCC) plays a final regular season game at 4:15 p.m. Friday at Pershing Park, a nonconference matchup against Burlington. The Crusaders open postseason play at 4 p.m. Tuesday with a WIAA Division 4 quarterfinal against Richland Center at Pershing Park.
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Prairie 10, Racine Lutheran 0 -- Prairie goals/assists: Nolan Wolf (Gabe Perez), Nick Hawkins (Koda Fletcher), Hawkins (Wolf), Rocky Randhawa (Wolf), Tommy Bode (Caden Holum), Daniel Dreifuerst (Bode), Dreifuerst (Jason Frosch), Wolf (Rueda), Wolf (unassisted), Ryan Anderson (unassisted). Prairie saves: Will Sullivan and Quinton Stafford 1. Lutheran saves: James Gehne 5.
St. Catherine's 6, Whitefish Bay Dominican 0 -- St. Catherine's goals/assists: Manny Barajas (Juan Mejia), Paul Serratos (Ernesto Gomez), Barajas (Axel Soria), Barajas (Mejia), Bryan Basquez (unassisted), Juan Casares (Soria). St. Catherine's saves: Alberto Gavan 4, Traykiese Gillentine 5.
PARK 3, CASE 0: Case jumped out to a 12-3 lead in the first set of this Southeast Conference showdown in Park’s fieldhouse. But then something dramatic happened.
Park rallied for a 25-20 victory in that first game and then maintained that momentum to win the next two games 25-23, 25-23 and pull off the upset.
“I called timeout and settled down the team and we talked about the errors,” Park coach Pete Leslie said of the Panthers’ 12-3 deficit. “We started cleaning things up and didn’t give up. With it being Senior Night, I think a little more emotion played into it.”
Park (6-12-1, 1-5 SEC) was led by Kevin Leslie, son of the coach, who had 27 assists and 10 digs. Sahron Selmon had eight kills and Rance Kendrick added seven.
Seth Sanchez and Malik Ziebell each had five kills for Case (11-11, 2-4 SEC). Sanchez also had 21 assists and David Sandridge had 14 digs.
“We had a pretty sizable lead in that first game and they came back and used that momentum the rest of the night,” Case coach Dan Burch said.
HORLICK 3, FRANKLIN 0: Playing what coach Dana Marcinkus said was “our best match of the season,” the Rebels defeated Franklin 25-14, 25-20, 25-19 in a Southeast Conference match in Horlick’s John R. Belden Fieldhouse. It was the first conference loss of the season for Franklin.
Horlick (18-9, 5-1 SEC) was bolstered by the return of Matt Barrientez, who had been out since breaking his left hand Sept. 2. Barrientez had seven kills and Marcinkus said “It was like he never left.”
Other standouts for the Rebels included Kyle Semrad (seven kills, three blocks), Zach Romano (nine digs, three blocks), Eric Barrientez (15 assists, three aces) and Hank Christensen (nine digs).
Horlick served at 94 percent.
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Park def. Case 25-14, 14-25, 25-7). PARK STAT LEADERS — Kills: Sahron Selmon 8, Rance Kendrick 7. Assists: Kevin Leslie 27. Digs: Leslie 10. CASE STAT LEADERS -- Kills: Seth Sanchez 5, Malik Ziebel 5. Assists: Sanchez 21. Digs: David Sandridge 14.
Horlick def. Franklin 25-14, 25-20, 25-19. HORLICK STAT LEADERS -- Kills: Matt Barrientez 7, Kyle Semrad 7. Blocks: Semrad 3, Zach Romano 3. Assists: Eric Barrientez 15. Digs: Romano 9, Hank Christensen 9.
St. Catherine’s will take this weekend off after Catholic Central, its scheduled opponent at Horlick Field, forfeited the final three games of the regular season. St. Catherine’s athletic director Mike Arendt said the Angels will likely open the playoffs Friday, Oct. 20. Arendt said the Angels’ home games will be played at Union Grove High School.
Also, Park is scheduling a 10th game for the second straight season. The Panthers (2-6) will play Beloit Memorial in a 6 p.m. nonconference game Thursday, Oct. 19 at Hammes Field. Park lost to Beloit Memorial 30-26 last season.