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Hudson Soccer: Raiders bounce back from loss

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sports River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
715-386-9891 customer support
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Two days after a 5-1 loss to undefeated Eau Claire Memorial, the Raider girls' soccer team shut out Menomonie, 3-0, last Thursday, May 10 to stay one game over .500 in Big Rivers Conference play.

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Both games were on the road with the Raiders at River Falls (7-1-1) Tuesday, May 15, and Rice Lake (1-7-0) Thursday, May 17. They play a nonconference game at New Richmond Saturday, May 19, before the final home game of the season, Tuesday, May 22, at 7 p.m. against Eau Claire North (5-2-2).

Last Thursday at Menomonie (0-8-1), the Raiders scored three second-half goals to defeat the Mustangs, 3-0.

"We got off to a really slow start though," Raider head coach Allie Knutson said. "We only had three shots, one being on net in the first half. Luckily, in the second half we stepped it up a bit, connected passes more, were more aggressive, and took more chances all over the field and around their goal."

McKenzie Buck scored the first Raider goal on a penalty kick after being knocked down in the box in the 68th minute. Cassie Wurm made it a 2-0 game three minutes later, connecting with a perfect volley off a cross from Alexa Haines.

Alyssa Claflin scored off an assist from Maggie Koehler in the 77nd minute to make the final 3-0.

"Our back line played strong together with the center backs, Molli Bichrt and Nicole Mara leading the direction there," Knutson said. "Keeper Megan Nelson didn't see the ball too much, but as usual played well. I'm happy the girls improved as the game went on. There's still much to work on, but it's good to get the win."

Two days earlier at Eau Claire Memorial, (7-0-0), the Old Abes outshot the Raiders 27-4 on their way to a 5-1 victory.

"They are a big, strong team and they move the ball well, exploiting any space they are given," Knutson said about Memorial, who entered the game ranked No. 7 in the state in Division 1. "We knew they would be really strong, I was just hoping to have a better result than this against them."

Koehler scored the lone Raider goal off a cross from Haines in the 47th minute to make the score 4-1.

"The game wasn't without any opportunities for us, but overall Eau Claire Memorial was clearly the better team," Knutson said.

Knutson said she hopes the Raiders get another shot at the Old Abes in the playoffs.

"Tonight we just didn't match up," she said. "I hope in the near future we do, and I hope we get the opportunity to play them again this season."

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Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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