This time, there was no comeback.
Again Brookfield Central trailed Marquette, but unlike the regular season match between the two teams, the Lancers couldn’t overcome a multi-goal deficit.
The top-ranked Hilltoppers scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the second half in a 3-0 win over Brookfield Central in a WIAA Division 1 state semifinal on Nov. 3 at Kohler Engines Stadium at Uihlein Soccer Park.
Marquette, ranked No. 14 in the nation by USA Today, will face Green Bay Preble in the Division 1 state championship game at 11 a.m. Nov. 5.
“Obviously, it wasn’t the outcome that we wanted,” Brookfield Central coach Dan Makal said. “Our guys put forth a good effort. Marquette is a good team. We knew that. We see them in conference every year
“I thought we had a pretty good start to the game. They got a good goal. From that point on, we were trying to fight our way back into it.”
Marquette (19-1-3 overall) went up in the 27th minute when senior midfielder Sam Holton beat two defenders into the box before setting up senior forward Joel Migliaccio for a one-timed shot from three yards.
The Hilltoppers extended their lead to 2-0, as junior defender CJ Keyes slotted a perfect pass to junior forward Nicholas Cheung, who cut up the middle of the box and beat Lancers goalkeeper Michael Windsor with a point-blank shot in the 48th minute.
Three minutes later, a Lancers defender tried to clear a Marquette corner kick, but the ball went right to sophomore midfielder Thomas Bruneau for an easy one-timed rebound in the box.
“We tried to come out (in the second half) with a little more intensity and attack more, but we made a mistake here and there and it cost us,” Makal said. “They are an experienced team. That’s tough.”
In the regular-season meeting between the two Greater Metro Conference rivals, Marquette scored twice in the first 15 minutes of the second half to take a 3-1 lead.
However, Brookfield Central earned a 3-3 draw with goals in the 64th and 83rd minutes.
A second-half comeback wasn’t in the cards for the Lancers.
Hilltoppers goalkeeper Joe Jochem, who was injured when the teams met in the regular season, stopped all five Brookfield Central shots on goal.
Michael Lemke had two shots on goal, while Charlie Debbink, Andrew Schweinert and Ben Geibl each had one. Windsor made seven saves for the Lancers.
Brookfield Central was making its first state tournament appearance since 2001 and in the state semifinals for the first time since 1996.
A year after posting a 7-6-2 overall and in seventh place in the Greater Metro at 1-5-1, the Lancers finished at 14-1-5 in Makal’s first season leading the boys program.
“In the past years we’ve been trying to get out of regionals,” senior defender Chris Post said. “But this year, we finally broke through and got to state.
“In years past it was more of an individual effort, playing for themselves. This year we came together as a team and played for each other.”
Marquette’s only loss in the regular season came against Kiski School of Pennsylvania.
The Hilltoppers are unbeaten in their last 44 matches against teams from Wisconsin dating back to Oct. 24, 2013, when Muskego took down Marquette, 1-0, in a sectional final.
Brookfield Central has not defeated Marquette since 2010.
“You have to give Marquette a lot of credit,” Makal said. “They are well-coached and they know what they are doing.”