By Jason Arndt
Since a shutout loss to Delavan-Darien in late April, the Burlington High School girls soccer team has strung together strong performances, holding a nine-game unbeaten streak through Monday.
In the nine-game span, the Demons have registered seven total shutouts, which concluded their regular season with an 11-3-2 overall record and 3-3-1 in Southern Lakes Conference play.
The most recent victory came on Monday, when the Demons blanked non-conference opponent Racine Case 1-0, courtesy of Emilie Runkel’s phenomenal play in goal.
Matt Conrardy, Burlington coach, said the Demons did what they could against the Eagles.
“This was another grind-out game in which finding the back of the net proved difficult for us,” he said.
Burlington broke a scoreless deadlock in the second half behind a key goal from Grace Mermal.
“Grace Mermal finally broke through with a goal off a corner kick from Shelby Busch in the second half,” he said. “Emilie Runkel saved us several times as she recorded her 10th shutout of the season.”
Burlington 3, Mukwonago 0
On May 18 in Mukwonago, the Demons shut down the Indians on a 3-0 decision, behind an Aleah Reesman hat trick.
While Reesman knocked in three goals, the back line and Runkel kept an aggressive Mukwonago team from scoring, Conrardy said.
“Our back line of Claudia Cramer, Shelby Busch, Grace Debbink, Jenna BeBow and Addison Thomas along with our goalkeeper (Runkel) have been incredible all season long and that didn’t change tonight against a very physical Mukwonago side,” Conrardy said.
Runkel, who recorded another shutout, has only allowed 10 goals all season.
Meanwhile, with the victory, Burlington clinched its second consecutive 10-win season.
“This is a special group of girls and I’m just so happy with the effort they put forth each time they step onto the pitch,” Conrardy said.
Burlington 1, Westosha Central 1
The Demons played to a 1-1 draw against visiting Westosha Central on May 16 in Burlington.
“It was another hard-fought match against another solid SLC team,” Conrardy said.
Reesman scored the Demons’ lone goal after she intercepted and beat the Falcons’ keeper near the post.
However, Westosha Central bounced back and scored with eight seconds left in the first half.
“Westosha did a great job of switching the point of attack against us and had a great scoring chance in the second half, but (Runkel) was able to deny the one-on-one challenge,” Conrardy said.