It's a first: Tritons win program's first WIAA state title

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MILWAUKEE (WLUK) -- Trudy Quidzinski stepped up and delivered her free kick at the Catholic Memorial goal but her shot was stopped, but instead of giving up teammate Jenna Cuene attacked.

The junior raced to the ball as it rebounded off the goalkeeper, got a foot on it and put the ball into the back of the net.

It was just the 24th minute of the Division 3 state title match against Memorial, which had won six straight state titles, so it seemed like more scoring would occur, but as it turned out that was it.

Cuene's goal, her lucky 13th of the season, was enough as the Tritons defeated the Crusaders 1-0 to win the program's first WIAA state title at Uihlein Soccer Park on Saturday.

Notre Dame-Memorial stats

"It means a lot for us," Cuene said. "We've been waiting for this moment. All the teams coming up to us, all the alumni and everything. It's really cool to be the first team to obviously achieve this.

"Honestly, it's amazing to be the second team in the area to accomplish this so I'm just very proud of my teammates."

Bay Port was the first Green Bay area girls soccer team to win a state title and that happened about six hours earlier when it beat Sheboygan North in the Division 1 title match. No. 2 seeded Notre Dame (17-5-1), though, took down a giant as No. 1 Memorial had lifted a gold ball every year from 2012-17.

"It's an unbelievable feeling. It's surreal," said Quidzinski, who was credited with an assist on Cuene's goal. "I never thought I'd be in this moment. It makes it ten times better with my whole team."

Notre Dame coach Bob Rickards called this year's team the best in his 13 seasons as coach and his team backed up the statement with the state title. Notre Dame outshot the perceived favorite 10-7 as it became the first Green Bay school to win a girls soccer state title.

“I’m looking at the board, and I’m seeing seven shots from Catholic Memorial,” Rickards said. “I’m feeling pretty good. Our defense did a nice job, especially late in the game. Not giving them a lot of options or a lot of chances to score late in the game. I’m very proud of my defense.

"It means a lot. We've been trying for 13 years and we've been so close. The eight years we've been here we've come up short.

"And now to know that we've done it, we've climbed that hill and are the best in Division 3. It feels really good."

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay