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Raider soccer team erupts in first two wins

Senior Cavan Denning (2) gets is head on a corner kick in the first half of the Raider soccer team’s 5-0 victor over Menomonie last Thursday as teammate Ben Klundt and a trio of Menomonie defenders look on. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
Senior Caleb Ondrusik stretches to get a foot on a pass just outside the penalty box in the first half of the Raiders’ 5-0 victory over Menomonie last Thursday at the middle school field. Ondrusik had a goal and two assists in the win.2 / 2

The Raider soccer team scored five goals in the first half of a 5-0 win over Menomonie in its season opener last Thursday before putting six straight goals on the board Saturday at Tartan to come from behind and post an 8-3 victory.

The Raiders visited Rice Lake this past Tuesday, Sept. 3, and return home to host  defending Big Rivers Conference and sectional champs Eau Claire Memorial Thursday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. Friday they host 2012 state semifinalist Brookfield East at 6 p.m. at the middle school field before taking on Cedarburg Saturday at 10 a.m. in Stillwater.

"This will be a tough week," Raider head coach Steve Sollom said. "I look forward to finding out how we do against top notch competition."

The Raiders opened the season last Thursday at home against Menomonie and outshot the Mustangs 24-2 on their way to a 5-0 victory. All five Raider goals came in a 30-minute span of the first half.

Mitch Karras accounted for two Hudson goals and Caleb Ondrusik had a goal and two assists while Jack Schulte and Ben Karras added a goal apiece.

"We possessed the ball nearly all game and had some nice combinations for goal-scoring chances," Sollom said. "I was pleased; for our first game of the year we did some nice things, but really it's hard to evaluate."

Saturday at Tartan, the Raiders trailed 3-2 before scoring six straight goals to post an 8-2 victory.

"It was kind of a crazy first half," Sollom said. "We were down a couple of starting defenders and tried a couple of different things with mixed results. Tartan was a better opponent in terms of seeing where we are at."

Ben Klundt gave Hudson a 1-0 lead eight minutes in off a cross from Karras but a poor clearance allowed Tartan to tie the score a short time later.

Ondrusik gave the Raiders a 2-1 lead off a breakaway but Tartan tied it up again on a long shot that floated just under the crossbar.

"The next possession we had a turnover on an errant pass back to our keeper and they capitalized on an open net and they were up 3-2.," Sollom said. "From there, we began to finish our chances."

Karras got things going with a goal off a through ball from Schulte and Ondrusik scored two more goals on breakaways to complete his hat trick and give the Raiders a 5-3 halftime lead.

Hudson picked up right where it left off in the second half, getting goals from Karras and Schulte in the first ten minutes before sophomore Walter Brose netted his first varsity goal to make the final 8-3.

"We were fortunate to be able to get so many chances this game, as typically a team loses if they give up three goals," Sollom noted. "On the other hand, we need to finish a much higher percentage of our chances in future games, as we scored eight goals on 31 chances."

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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