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Muskego has established itself as one of the top girls soccer programs in the state with four consecutive appearances in the state semifinals. 

But the Warriors have been unable to win once they reach Uihlein Soccer Park, a trend that continued June 15 with a 1-0 loss to Bay Port in a WIAA Division 1 state semifinal match. 

Bay Port's Alexis Brunette hammered home a shot past Muskego goalkeeper Alexa Schnittka inside the left post from straightaway at 29:47 for the lone goal of the game. 

"We had early chances we just couldn't finish on," Muskego coach Eric Hess said. "We had the play in the first 20 minutes. Bay Port is a deep team. You have to credit Bay Port. There is not a lead singer on their team, but they are just deep all the way around.

"You get in a game like this, and all they need is one goal. It was an incredible shot. They just needed one goal, and they could then just settle into possession. We did a good job of not giving them chances inside the box; it was just one great hit that they had." 

Muskego put five shots on goal and came close to equalizing in the 70th minute when Leah Bolskar put a free kick over Bay Port goalkeeper Gabrielle Noack. The shot hit the crossbar and dropped straight down, nearly crossing the goal line.

There then was a scramble for the ball before a handball was called on Muskego's Kate Brandstatter.

"I thought it hit the bar and was in," Hess said. "Just to see it carom out, it was just inches away from going off the back of the goalkeeper and in. It was a great strike."

RELATED: Brookfield Central girls soccer rolls to state title match with 4-0 win over Oconomowoc

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The Pirates (24-2-1 overall) nearly went up 2-0 at 71:27 when Schnittka was called for playing the ball with her hands just outside of the 18-yard box.

Schnittka came out of the goal to play a Bay Port breakaway and bobbled the ball briefly while sliding to the edge of the box. Amber Freeman took the direct free kick from just outside the 18-yard box but hit it directly into the waiting arms of Schnittka. 

Bay Port had another scoring chance in the 78th minute, but leading scorer Erika Hess chipped the ball just over the crossbar. 

Noack made five saves for the Pirates, while Schnittka made six stops for the Warriors.

Muskego finished at 15-3-4, playing a difficult nonconference schedule in addition to earning a share of the Classic 8 Conference title with Arrowhead at 5-1-1. 

"You just have to look at the season as a whole and what we accomplished as a whole," said Eric Hess, referencing his team's strength of schedule and Muskego's conference title.

"You look back and go, 'Oh, you lost in the semifinals at state,' but you never look at the picture as a whole and what the journey was. It was just an incredible journey with this group." 

The year before their current group of 10 seniors entered the program, the Warriors went 2-14-2.

Muskego has made the state semifinals in each of the four seasons since, with five of the 10 playing on each of those teams. 

"It has been a great, great run with them," coach Hess said. "They gave a big change of atmosphere to our team. We were no longer just athletes, we were soccer players."

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