After being ousted from the U.S. Adult Soccer Association Region II Open Cup earlier this spring, the Croatian Eagles now will look to make a run in the Amateur Cup.
Aaron Lauber (Franklin/UW) scored in the 50th minute and UW-Parkside's Nick Huftalin posted the clean sheet as the Croatians tipped host Bavarian SC 1-0 in the Wisconsin Amateur Cup final Saturday night in Glendale.
In addition to the state title, the Eagles earned a berth in the Region II tournament from June 28 to 30 in Overland Park, Kan. The regional champion moves on to the national semifinals, which are July 19 to 21 in San Antonio.
Both sides saw shots hit the woodwork in a scoreless opening 45 minutes, but Lauber gave the visitors the lead just after the break off a pass from Aaron Cranfill (New Berlin West/UW-Green Bay) and Huftalin made the slim lead stand up the rest of the way.
The Croatians have beaten Bavarians all three times the teams have met this season – they also will play June 5 in Franklin and June 13 in Glendale in in Wisconsin Soccer Leagues Major Division play.
The Eagles have a busy week ahead: They'll play league matches against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday and Milwaukee Serbians on Wednesday, then head to Greensboro, N.C., next weekend for the inaugural USASA National Amateur Championship.
The Croatians – last year's USASA National Open Cup champions – face reigning National Premier Soccer League champion FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic in the semifinals Friday night, then will play the Battery Park Gunners (Mass.) or the host Carolina Dynamo of the USL Premier Development League on Sunday.