Milwaukee Marquette and Middleton, ranked first and second among Wisconsin boys soccer teams in state and regional polls, will join some of the country's other top sides at the eighth annual Gateway City Classic this weekend in St. Louis and nearby O'Fallon, Ill.
The Hilltoppers are among seven teams in the 62-team field in the latest national rankings by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America or Elite Soccer Report.
Marquette is ranked 14th in the NSCAA national poll and ninth in the ESR Top 50 heading into its fifth straight appearance at the Gateway City Classic, which includes teams from 12 states.
The Hilltoppers open up against Springfield Kickapoo (Mo.) at 1 p.m. Friday, then play Lexington Dunbar (Ky.) or Aurora Grandview (Colo.) on Saturday morning before a placement game Saturday afternoon. Evansville Reitz Memorial (Ind.), ranked 12th by ESR, is on the other side of the Group F bracket.
Middleton, which dropped out of the ESR Top 50 this week, faces Jefferson City (Mo.) at 5:15 p.m. Thursday in Group B to start their fifth Gateway City Classic appearance. The Cardinals will take on St. Louis DeSmet Jesuit or Lenexa St. James (Kan.) on Friday, followed by a placement match Saturday.
- Marquette is second and Middleton is sixth in this week's NSCAA Region VI poll, which also includes No. 7 Green Bay Preble, No. 10 Madison West and No. 15 Muskego.
- Seniors Joe Kennedy and Jacob Grindel and junior Christian Elliehausen scored in a 16-minute span in the second half as Marquette (12-0-2, 6-0-0) rallied to beat sixth-ranked Brookfield East 3-1 on Tuesday night to clinch the Greater Metro Conference title. Senior Jonathan Stone put the Spartans (9-4-3, 4-2-0) ahead on a header in the fourth minute, but Kennedy equalized from distance in the 59th, Elliehausen gave Marquette the lead in the 64th and Grindel capped the comeback in the 75th as the Hilltoppers extended their unbeaten streak to 50 matches (47-0-3) – their last loss was 3-1 to Brookfield East on Sept. 28, 2010.
- Danny Schmid scored his first two goals of the season and fellow senior Blake Nikolai also added his first of the year as Oregon capped its fourth straight perfect season in Southern Badger Conference play with a 3-0 win over visiting Monona Grove on Tuesday. The Panthers (12-1-2, 6-0-0) have won 26 consecutive conference matches, and are unbeaten in their past 12 games overall (11-0-1).
- Thomas Whiting made eight saves and fellow junior Robert Quinlan scored in the fourth minute Tuesday as Ashland tipped Duluth Denfeld (Minn.) 1-0 to clinch its first Lake Superior Conference championship. The Oredockers (16-1-1, 6-0-0) face Superior, the only other Wisconsin team in the seven-team league, in their final conference match Oct. 4.