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Hudson senior Alexa Haines (white jersey) tries to get past Menomonie’s Alyssa Jones (5) in the first half of the Raiders girls soccer team’s Big Rivers Conference opener against the Mustangs last Thursday at the middle school field. Haines scored her team-leading ninth goal of the season and added an assist to help the Raiders to a 4-0 victory. (Hudson Star-Observer photos by Bob Burrows)

Raider girls defeat Menomonie in BRC opener, improve to 4-1 overall

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Despite controlling play from the start, it took nearly half the game for the Raider girls soccer team to score its first goal last Tuesday in its Big Rivers Conference opener against Menomonie.

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Once they did, the floodgates opened.

Senior Alexa Haines had a goal and an assist, junior Maggie Koehler and Kate Johnson scored a goal each, and JV call-ups Kia Feia and Kayla Schewe combined on the final goal of the night to lift the Raiders to a 4-0 victory over the Mustangs.

Hudson outshot Menomonie 30-2 in the 80-minute contest. Despite many early opportunities, the Raiders didn’t get on the scoreboard until the 35 minute mark when the Mustang goalie couldn’t hang on to a shot by Haines and Koehler was there to put home the rebound.

Head coach John Knutson said the Raider passing game was a key to maintaining possession and creating scoring opportunities in the win. And while the Raiders have outscored their opponents 17-5 in their first five games, he said there is still room for improvement.

“As we start our conference season, we need to improve each game in all phases, defensively, offensive attack and with our possession,” he said. “Although it's hard to fault our girls who are scoring a lot of goals, we can improve our scoring efficiency even more by converting on the opportunities that we are creating.”

Haines converted on a breakaway opportunity early in the second half when she used her speed to beat the Mustang defense from near midfield and slipped a shot between the Menomonie goalkeeper’s legs to give Hudson a 2-0 lead. Johnson converted a cross just minutes later to make it a 3-0 game.

The Raiders’ final goal came when Feia’s shot on goal was deflected to Schewe and the freshman forward was able to put the ball into the back of the net.

Knutson said he was pleased to see the JV call-ups contribute to the win, and praised the play of the Raiders’ midfielders.

“I was very happy tonight by the play of our mid-fielders -- Kate Sanocki, Kate Johnson, Taylor Klatt, Marki Thompson, Jordan Helterbrand and more,” he said. “They really helped us bring the ball up from the back and distribute to our aggressive frontline forwards in the attack.”

Hudson, now 4-1 overall, 1-0 in BRC play, visited Rice Lake this past Tuesday before returning home to host defending BRC co-champion Eau Claire Memorial Thursday, April 24, at 7 p.m. at the middle school field.

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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.
(715) 426-1047
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