Soccer battles through adversityThe Raider boys’ soccer team didn’t have the season it anticipated back in August, but head coach Chuck Bublitz believes the team laid the groundwork for better things in the future.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
The Raider boys’ soccer team didn’t have the season it anticipated back in August, but head coach Chuck Bublitz believes the team laid the groundwork for better things in the future.
“We played the toughest schedule of any team in our conference, and battled injuries and absences to six of our top 11,” he said. “Through it all the team stayed close and continued to battle each game. We were a young team and our freshmen and sophomore players were extremely fortunate to have witnessed the leadership of the senior group.”
The Raiders’ season came to an end with a 3-2 toll to Rhinelander in a regional semifinal Oct. 12. Despite the loss, Bublitz said the team displayed great resiliency, especially after returning to the field trailing 2-1 following a 45-minute delay due to lightning.
“To have the game suspended for 45-plus minutes due to lightning while we were down 2-1, then come out and really take the game to Rhinelander was impressive,” he said. “Even more impressive was the fight shown by our team after a tough third goal. With under 10 minutes left, we could have folded but we fought on, scoring once to bring it to 3-2.”
The Raiders took a 1-0 lead on a well-placed shot by Dillon Koski, who beat one player on the dribble before depositing a shot just inside the far post.
“It was a well played first half,” Bublitz said. “We shut down their attack and controlled the pace of the game. Outstanding job by Chris Berglund filling in at center back, and JC Tantalean controlling the middle of the field. And another great, steady performance from Cody Fritz at center back.”
Rhinelander scored the next two goals to take a 2-1 lead before lightning drove the two teams off the field. The game resumed with 18 minutes remaining and Rhinelander went up 3-1 before Alek Spasic scored for Hudson to make the final 3-2.
“It was a strong effort the last 18 minutes by Alek Spasic,” Bublitz said. “He saved his best play for the biggest moment.”
Bublitz also praised the play of two players who have missed significant portions of the second half of the season — Rocky Harmon and Alex Schnobrich.
The Raiders finished the season with a record of 4-14-0.