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The Best Local Sport Moments of 2018

By Mike Johnson (Kenosha News), 01/04/19, 8:45AM CST


#2 Local Sports Moment of 2018

St. Joseph girls soccer team wins the state title (June 16)

Talk about unlikely heroes.

St. Joseph senior defender Grace Pechous had exactly one goal entering the Lancers' WIAA Division-4 state title match against Cedar Grove-Belgium at Milwaukee's Uihlein Soccer Park and spent some time on the bench after receiving a yellow card in the 49th minute.

None of it mattered.

With just 1 minute, 47 seconds left and the tense match tied 1-1, Pechous capitalized on a brilliant play by sophomore forward Katie Hamm, who beat a defender along the end line and got off a shot that the goalkeeper punched away.

There was Pechous, who coolly deposited the rebound into the open net to give the Lancers their first state title in their first state tournament appearance. It was also Kenosha County's first state championship in girls soccer.

"It's completely surreal," Pechous said. "I mean, I'm a defender. Even in my wildest dreams, I don't think I would ever dream of scoring the winning goal at state.

But my coach (Edgar Espinosa) just put me up there, and (I) honestly wasn't expecting much. I was just there to fill a spot, and I owe it all to my teammates."

The St. Joseph girls soccer team carries the gold ball to the stands after winning the WIAA Division-4 state title with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Cedar Grove-Belgium at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee on June 16. Photo Credit: Sean Krajacic