A tough defense led by two returning all-state players will key the Muskego girls soccer team in the 2016 season.
The Warriors bring back senior defender Jenny Fischer, who earned first-team all-state and first-team all-Classic 8 Conference honors, and senior goalkeeper Madelyn Runyan, who was 'best of the rest' on the all-state team and first-team all-Classic 8.
Those two, along with other returnees, helped the Warriors post an 18-4-4 record last season, securing their second straight trip to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, where they dropped a 1-0 decision to Kettle Moraine in the semifinals.
Fischer and Runyan also helped pitch two shutouts last weekend, when the Warriors claimed their own Muskego Cup Tournament championship with 1-0 victories over Nicolet and New Berlin West on April 8.
Muskego tallied six points; New Berlin West and Nicolet each three points; and Green Bay Preble no points.
'We have a good amount of returners on defense mixed in with some good freshmen on offense,' coach Eric Hess said. 'We will have a very deep and competitive team. Our scrimmages can be as intense, competitive and entertaining as our games.'
One of those freshmen, forward Katie Wasiak, provided the offense in the weekend sweep, scoring both goals in the second halves.
The defense did the rest, with Runyan only having to make one save in each contest.
Besides Runyan and Fischer, other seniors are forward Ari Cyrus, forward Isabelle Sviatoslavsky and forward Erin Bolskar.
Also back are junior defender Hannah Kath, junior midfielder Taylor Simkowski and junior defender Leah Bolskar, among others.
The Warriors opened their Classic 8 slate against Waukesha West on April 12 and will play in a big tournament at Wisconsin Dells this weekend, facing Oconomowoc at 5 p.m. Friday, April 15, and Pewaukee at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 16.
They will then play at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at Kettle Moraine, hoping to avenge that state tournament defeat from last season.