WIAA State Boys Soccer Tournament Preview

State Boys Soccer Tournament Preview

THE TOURNAMENT:  The 41st Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Boys Soccer Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 3-5 at KOHLER Engines Stadium at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee, Wis.

WIAA Boys Soccer STATE Semifinals SCOREBOARD: Th/Fri D1-4

TICKETS AVAILABLE: The WIAA uses GoFan Ticketing for all digital and cashless tickets. Admission is $11 plus online fees for adults and students. All tickets must be redeemed on a mobile device. To purchase tickets, visit the WIAA website at:  https://gofan.co/app/school/WIAAWI. 

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION: The single-elimination tournament features four divisions. Four teams will compete for the State title in each of the divisions. The coaches of the qualifying teams in Divisions 1 and 2 seed those two divisions, and the coaches of the qualifying teams in Divisions 3 and 4 seed those two brackets. Below are the pairings and time schedule of games.

Division 1

Thursday, Nov. 3
#1 Marquette (14-7-2) vs. #4 Hudson (16-3-2) – 4:30 p.m.
#2 Verona (19-3) vs. #3 Hamilton (13-2-5)  – 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
Championship Game – 1:30 p.m.

Division 2

Thursday, Nov. 3
#1 Whitefish Bay (18-1-4) vs. #4 Pulaski (18-4-2) – 11 a.m.
#2 Oregon (21-2-2) vs. #3 Waukesha West (12-4-3) – 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
Championship Game – 11 a.m.

Division 3

Friday, Nov. 4
#1 Notre Dame (18-0-4) vs. #4 Rhinelander (12-2-5) – 4:30  p.m.
#2 New Berlin Eisenhower (14-4-3) vs. #3 Wisconsin Dells (17-1) – 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
Championship Game – 7 p.m.

Division 4

Friday, Nov. 4
#1 Cristo Rey Jesuit (21-1-1) vs. #4 Aquinas (16-7-2) – 11 a.m.
#2 Sheboygan Christian/Sheboygan Lutheran (20-1-1) vs. #3 Lake Country Lutheran  (15-4-2) – 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
Championship Game – 4:30 p.m.

PRE-FINAL MATCHES LIVE ON THE WEB:  The quarterfinals and semifinals of the WIAA State Boys Soccer Tournament will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a consumer subscription basis for $11.99 per month. To purchase a subscription to the live programming, visit WIAA.TV and click on the subscription graphic on the page. Archived streams of the games will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament with a paid subscription.

FINALS ON BALLY SPORTS WISCONSIN:  Watch the broadcast of the WIAA Boys Soccer State  Tournament championship games Saturday on Bally Sports Wisconsin and on the Bally Sports app with registration cable system authentication. The Divisions 1, 2 and 4 games will be aired on Bally Sports Wisconsin. The Division 2 game at 7 p.m. will only be available using the Bally Sports Wisconsin app or by purchasing a subscription to Bally Sports Wisconsin Plus, the digital and mobile device service. To subscribe, visit ballysportsplus.com.

LAST YEAR:  Marquette captured the crown in Division 1 for the second year in a row and for seventh time in the last eight seasons with a 1-0 shutout over Hudson in the final. In Division 2, Oregon posted a 3-1 victory over Whitefish Bay in the title game. In Division 3, Shorewood captured the crown with a 5-3 advantage in penalty kicks during the shootout after a scoreless tie with Notre Dame in the championship game. The Sheboygan Lutheran/Christian co-op was the Division 4 champion after a 0-0 tie versus Oostburg determined by a 5-4 advantage in penalty kicks.

THE DIVISION 1 FIELD:  Two-time defending champion Marquette is the top seed. The Hilltoppers advance to the State Tournament in pursuit of their 18th State championship. They have now qualified for State in eight of the past nine seasons and for a membership-leading 21 times. Their championship total of 16 is also a membership record for championships won. In addition to the most recent two championships, the Hilltoppers won five consecutive titles from 2014-18 and a string of four crowns from 2000-03. They also won three straight titles from 2010-12 to go with championships in 2005 and 2008. In addition, they finished runner-up in 2004 and 2007. Prior to joining the WIAA, the Hilltoppers won 14 titles as a former member of WISAA. Those came in 1974, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1984-86, 1989-90, 1992, 1994-97. They qualify this year by shutting out Oak Creek 4-0 in the Kenosha Bradford Sectional final. The Hilltoppers are the champions of the Greater Metro Conference this season. Verona is seeded second in the bracket. The Wildcats are making their third State appearance, all of which have come in the last four seasons. They won the championship in their first-ever State Tournament appearance in 2019. Their pursuit of a second title continues after a 2-0 blanking of Middleton in the Oconomowoc Sectional final. They were the runners-up in the Big Eight Conference this season. Third-seeded Hamilton makes its second overall appearance at State. The Chargers only other experience in the tourney was in 2018, which resulted in a runner-up finish in Division 1. They  advance to the State semifinals this year with a 4-2 advantage in a shootout following a 1-1 tie with Brookfield East in the West Allis Sectional final. Hamilton placed third in the Greater Metro Conference, which was won this fall by top-seeded Marquette. Last year’s runner-up Hudson is the fourth seed. The Raiders are back in the State Tournament for the 12th time overall and for the third season in a row. Last season was the first time they advanced to the championship game. This year, they shut out Oshkosh West 2-0 in the Marshfield Sectional final to earn their return to State. They placed atop the standings in the Big Rivers Conference this season.

THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Whitefish Bay is the top seed. The Blue Dukes are making their 16th trip to the State Tournament overall. They have won seven championships, including three in a row from 2015-2017. They also won consecutive crowns in 1982-83 when the tournament featured one class. They added a Division 1 title in 1994 and another Division 2 championship in 1995. The Blue Dukes also advanced to the finals in 2003 and finished runner-up. They cruised past Nicolet 4-0 in the final of the sectional hosted by the Blue Dukes to continue their pursuit of their eighth championship. They finished runner-up in the North Shore Conference this season. Defending champion and second-seeded Oregon returns to State for the second year in a row and for the 11th time overall. The Panthers have now won four championships. The first came in 1998 and then again in 2013 and 2018.  They also advanced to the title game in 2017 and finished runner-up. This year, they rolled over Monona Grove 6-0 in the final of the Sauk Prairie Sectional for the chance to repeat as champions. The Panthers are the champions in the West Division of the Badger Conference this season. Third-seeded Waukesha West will appear in its fourth State Tournament and its first since 2017. The Wolverines’ first two appearances came in Division 1 in 2002 and 2010, which resulted in losses in the quarterfinals. Their appearance in Division 2 in 2017 resulted in a tie in the semifinals, and they failed to advance from the subsequent shootout. The Wolverines qualify this year by virtue of their 2-1 win over Wauwatosa East in the sectional final hosted by Waukesha West. The Wolverines finished second in the Classic Eight Conference standings this season. Pulaski, the #4 seed, returns to the State for just the second time. The Red Raiders’ only other appearance came in   2014 when they fell in the semifinals. This season, they edged Tomah 1-0 in the sectional final played at Pulaski to advance to the State semifinals. The Red Raiders finished fourth in the Fox River Classic standings this fall.

THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Notre Dame is the top seed in the bracket. The Tritons qualify for the 11th time overall and for the third straight season including the alternate season in the spring. The Tritons advanced to the Division 2 title game in the 2020-21 alternate season tournament and finished runner-up. They won back-to-back Division 2 titles in 2007-08 and also won the crown in 2001. In addition, they finished runner-up in Division 2 in their first-ever appearance in 2000 and again in 2013. This year, they advance to State from the Seymour Sectional with a 2-1 overtime win over Plymouth in the final. The Tritons finished third in the Fox River Classic Conference this fall. New Berlin Eisenhower, the second seed, will appear in its third State Tournament and its first since 2018 when the  Lions finished runner-up in Division 2. They also were Division 2 runners-up in their first-ever appearance in 1997. The Lions advance to the State semifinals this year with a 2-1 victory over Shorewood in the sectional final played on Shorewood’s home turf. The Lions are the champions of the West Division of the Woodland Conference this season. Third-seeded Wisconsin Dells will be experiencing State for the first time following a 2-1 triumph over McFarland in the sectional final played at McFarland. The Chiefs placed second in the Capitol Conference in 2022. Rhinelander, the fourth seed, is also making its first appearance at State.  The Hodags qualify after tying  Rice Lake 0-0 and advancing on a 4-3 shootout in the sectional final played in Rice Lake. They finished second in the Great Northern Conference this season.

THE DIVISION 4 FIELD: Cristo Rey Jesuit, the top seed, advances to State for the first time in the program’s history. The Trailblazers eliminated Oostburg, last season’s runner-up, in The Prairie School Sectional final to gain their berth in the State semifinals. They finished runner-up in the Lake City Conference this fall. Defending champion Sheboygan Christian/Sheboygan Lutheran is the second seed in the bracket. The Eagles qualify for State for the third time in the co-op’s history. They advance to the State semifinals this season in pursuit of a second straight title following a 1-0 blanking of Sturgeon Bay in the Kiel Sectional final. They are the champions in the Big East Conference this season. Prior to the formation of the co-op arrangement, Sheboygan Christian was a three-time qualifier, all coming successively in Division 3 from 2001-03. The string of appearances produced back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003. Third-seeded Lake Country Lutheran is also appearing in its first-ever State Tournament. The Lightning’s road to State was paved through the Lodi Sectional, culminating with a 2-0 shutout over St. John’s Northwestern/Chesterton in the final. They finished their 2022 campaign tied for third in the Midwest Classic Conference standings. Aquinas, seeded #4, will make its fourth appearance in the State Tournament. The Blugold’s most notable achievements in the tourney came in their first two appearances, which resulted in runner-up finishes in Division 3 in 2002 and 2010. They are the champions of the Marshfield Sectional by virtue of their 2-1 win over Northland Pines in the final. The Blugolds finished sixth in the Mississippi Valley Conference this year.

SELECT IS THE OFFICIAL BALL:  The Select “Royale” soccer ball is again the official ball of the 2022 Boys Soccer State Tournament. For more on Select soccer items, access the Select website at https://www.select-sport.com/us.

NEED RESULTS?:  Results of the State Boys Soccer Tournament are available on the WIAA website at www.wiaawi.org by accessing the appropriate links on the boys soccer tournament home page.

LICENSED STATE MERCHANDISE:  Apparel sales for the 2022 WIAA Boys Soccer State Tournament will be available  online and at Uihlein Soccer Park  through Tier 1 Sports. The link to the online store is: https://tier1sports.com/product/wiaa-boys-state-soccer-apparel/. The store is open for pre-tournament orders until Oct. 31 to be picked-up upon arrival at the venue. The store will remain open for post-tournament orders.

FOLLOW MEET ON SOCIAL MESSAGING:  Receive updates of the State Boys Soccer Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaasoccer. Also like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram at wiaawi.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]