Jacob Olp is a major reason why New Berlin Eisenhower's soccer team has one of the best defenses in the state.
But a rare goal from the senior co-captain allowed the Lions to take down their crosstown rivals. After Olp scored his first goal of the season in the 12th minute, the stout Eisenhower defense went to work to make the lead hold up in a 1-0 victory over New Berlin West.
"The opportunity presented itself," Eisenhower coach Gary Troy said. "He read the game and went. That's what he's supposed to do. Our backs read the game, and they know they have the green light.
"He is probably one of the smartest center backs you will see. Olp is a great player."
Olp made a run up the middle of the field, received a pass from Dominic Quirk and snuck a shot past diving Viking goalkeeper Mattson Wick.
It was just the second goal of Olp's career and the first during the run of play, as he scored last season against Shorewood on a free kick.
"I started from the back," Olp said. "It kind of built up. I do a lot of those runs out of the back. I got a good through ball from Dom. I was able to get around it and hit with my left. It barely snuck past the keeper and went in.
"I saw an opening in the field. There was a big gap in the midfield. I saw an opportunity to take the opening and see what happened."
Despite a wet and slippery field, the lone goal held, as Eisenhower's defense held yet another opponent down for what was the Lions' 11th clean sheet of the season at the time.
The Lions finished conference play allowing just three goals in 11 matches.
"We couldn't play our game as well as we'd like to," Troy said. "I don't know how many times guys planted their foot, and it just went out. This was conducive to a kick-and-chase game, and that is not our style. We were waiting for that one defender to slip and fall."
Playing its third game in as many days, West couldn't generate any serious scoring chances despite having six corner kicks.
"We never really got anything great in the final third, specifically in the last 18," West coach Matt Drago said. "Their center backs are outstanding. Their holding midfield is outstanding. Breaking those three is tough. We actually have scored quite a few goals this year. We just didn't get anything really creative in the last final third."
Eisenhower opened its week with a 3-1 win over South Milwaukee on Oct. 10.
J.R. Stehofsky gave the Lions the lead off an assist from Hunter Hildebrand in the 40th minute. Eisenhower scored its second goal just 15 seconds into the second half, as Matthew Reichl scored off a through ball from Brandon Dombrowski.
After South Milwaukee scored in the 48th minute, Reichl found Luke Duffin in front of the net for a goal in the 69th minute to provide insurance.
The Lions wrapped up the regular season by taking down Pius XI, 2-0, on Oct. 13.
Luke Eldien gave Eisenhower the lead in the 23rd minute off an assist from Nick DeFrance. Reichl buried a shot off a Pius turnover in the 43rd minute to make it 2-0.
Jake Prodoehl recorded his second consecutive clean sheet, as the Lions finished the regular season allowing just seven goals in 19 games.
"Jacob Olp, Matthew Rolefson, Jack Balles and Hunter Hildebrand kept the Popes from getting much of an attack," Troy said. "Eldien and JR Stehofsky controlled the midfield, while Dominic Quirk and Luke Duffin were dangerous in the attack."
Eisenhower finished the regular season at 15-1-3 overall and tied for second with Wauwatosa West in the Woodland Conference at 8-1-2. Pewaukee won the conference title at 9-0-2.