Oak Creek boys soccer coach Martin Castro is not foolish.
He knows the road to the WIAA state tournament for his Southeast Conference and WIAA regional champion Knights has one gigantic roadblock sitting in its way in the form of sectional top seed and multi-time state champion Marquette.
But he said his team has no fear of the empire builders from 34th and Wisconsin as Oak Creek routed both Milwaukee Ronald Reagan (10-0) and Milwaukee Hamilton (9-2) to win the regional title last weekend.
Castro, however, is not letting his team get ahead of itself, prepping for a bit of revenge first as they host area rival Muskego (9-4-9) in a 7 p.m. sectional semifinal Thursday, Oct. 27, at Oak Creek East Middle School. The Warriors beat the Knights in a Sept. 23 tournament game, 5-2, back when Oak Creek was still nursing some injuries.
Both teams are better now.
Oak Creek (13-4-1) has its health back, and Muskego has won nine of its last 11 games.
"We're feeling positive about things, feeling good about our chances," Castro said.
Muskego coach Aleks Vidakovich is looking forward to the road trip.
"It will be a great game against two seasoned teams," he said. "A lot of players from both sides have been playing with each other or against each other since a young age, and in this game it will come down to the team that makes the least amount of mistakes ... going to their home field will be a great environment to play in."
The winner will, in all likelihood, get defending D1 state champion Marquette (16-1-3) in the sectional final. The Hilltoppers will take on Bradley Tech in its sectional semifinal. The final will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Kenosha Bradford.
"We'd be honored if we had that opportunity," Castro said.
Castro said his team will need to maintain the strong offensive mindset its had for the last several games if it wants to succeed.
"The important thing about last weekend's games was the sheer amount of goals that we scored (19 in the two games)," he said. "We want to keep moving forward. Keep that offensive mindset."
The Knights beat Ronald Reagan in the regional semifinal Oct. 20 and Hamilton in the regional final Oct. 22.
Alejandro Muro had eight goals and four assists in the two games, while Ty Stulo had four goals and five assists.
"We kept a strong and level pace," Castro said, "and one of the biggest takeaways from the weekend was that we were able to play our whole bench and stay away from any injuries.
"I also liked that we were sharp in both games. We played at a high level even though the level of competition was not as good as we're used to. The kids handled it well."