Historic run can’t be denied, Jung already hopeful for bigger things next year

Union Grove junior Alexa Panyk was named the Southern Lakes Conference player of the year thanks to a league-leading 20 goals, 12 assists and 52 points. (Rick Benavides/SLN)


By Tim Wester


Perhaps the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association could have done a bit more analysis before creating the WIAA Division 2 girls soccer sectional brackets.

For instance, one division 2 sectional featured four state-ranked teams that each had championship aspirations.

This was the sectional that greeted Southern Lakes Conference champion Union Grove, a one-loss team entering the tournament, and a mere fifth seed in the top-heavy bracket.

“When you look at what it would have taken for us to get to state, we beat sixth-ranked Greendale on the road, then we had to beat third-ranked Eisenhower and then we would have had to beat state-ranked Waukesha West, who beat state-ranked Wauwatosa East before facing Eisenhower,” Union Grove girls soccer coach Jung said. “This was the toughest sectional in the state whether its division 1 or division 2.”

Union Grove (14-2-3) did all it could against the elite competition, dismantling Waukesha North and then sixth-ranked Greendale to win its regional for the first-time in school history.

Eventually, the bracket overwhelmed the Broncos, who dropped a hard-fought 2-0 match at third-ranked New Berlin Eisenhower in a WIAA Division 2 Sectional Semifinal Thursday, June 6.

“We lost to Eisenhower, who made it to state after they beat another state-ranked team in Waukesha West in the sectional final,” Jung said. “I felt like they were the better team, but we had our chances and put ourselves in position to win.”

Instead it was Eisenhower’s seniors who capitalized on their opportunities, starting with senior Anna Evans’ goal in the 22nd minute of the first half.

“They scored on a nice cross and first-time volley finish from just inside the box,” Jung said.

The one-goal lead didn’t bother the Broncos, who earned a penalty kick in the 34th minute. But the penalty kick went wide, helping Eisenhower hold a 1-0 lead at halftime.

“This was the only penalty kick we missed all year,” Jung said. “It was one of our chances in the game that we just didn’t take advantage of.”

The Broncos, however, didn’t have many more chances after that as Eisenhower maintained a one-goal lead late into the second half before senior Kayla Jedrzekewski iced the game with a goal in the 90th minute. That made it 2-0 Rams.

“We really only threatened them on set pieces and corner kicks late in the match,” Jung said. “I had just about every girl on our team push forward in the final 10 minutes to try to tie it, but they cleared a ball with 10 seconds left, which essentially ended the match and scored with three seconds left in the match.”

Mia Guyton had six saves in a losing cause for Union Grove, which reached a new level for the program this season, and want to go even further next year.

“We held our own against some of the best in the state,’ Jung said. “And next year we’ll expect to win that sectional no matter how many ranked teams are in it.”

It’s hard to argue with Jung’s confidence since the veteran coach has already directed the program to a conference championship and regional title this year.