Five Raiders named to All-Big River Conference soccer teamsSenior co-captain Alyssa Claflin was named to the All-BRC first team while senior co-captain Molli Bichrt and senior McKenzie Buck were named to the second team and senior Megan Nelson and junior Hannah Wirth received honorable mention.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
Five members of the Raider girls’ soccer team have been named to 2012 All-Big Rivers Conference teams for their play this season.
Senior co-captain Alyssa Claflin was named to the All-BRC first team while senior co-captain Molli Bichrt and senior McKenzie Buck were named to the second team and senior Megan Nelson and junior Hannah Wirth received honorable mention.
Raider head coach Allie Knutson said she was happy to see five Raiders recognized by the conference coaches, and the entire Raider team should be happy with their 7-6-1 season record.
“They worked hard, and I thought the growth from the beginning to end of the season was enormous,” she said. “I think we play very well together as a team, and not a lot of teams can say that.”
Claflin had a team-high five goals and five assists this season to earn a spot on the All-BRC first team. Knutson said Claflin has always had nice ball-handling skills and a powerful shot, which she used to her advantage this season.
“What was great this season was seeing her face bigger, stronger looking opponents and take them on,” the coach said. “She really helped our team move the ball around and up out of the mid field. She was really instrumental in making a lot of goals happen.”
The team’s other co-captain, Bichrt, along with senior classmate Buck were both named to the 11-player second team.
“Both seniors and both indispensable to this team,” Knutson said. “Bichrt coordinated our back line and led by example in everything she did. Buck has great technical skill and a quick first touch; she has the ability to change games, and a lot of times that's what she did.”
Knutson said Nelson did a fantastic job as the Raiders’ goalkeeper this season, recording four shutouts and a goals-against-average of 1.60.
“I think she is of first or second team caliber, but it's hard to get that vote if you're not the number one or number two team in the conference,” Knutson said. “I think it's safe to say that the entire team was confident having Megan between the posts.”
Wirth, a junior midfielder and defender, is the only Raider to earn all-conference honors who will return next season.
“She became a stronger and stronger player for us as the season went on, and at the end, I think it was difficult to not have her on the field in a game,” Knutson said. “She really understood her holding mid role and was huge for us in the middle.”
In addition to the four graduating all-conference players, Knutson also praised seniors Emily Annen, Haley Bouzard, Jordann Costello, Meredith Howard and Cassie Wurm for their play this season.
“They will all be greatly missed,” she said. “Though we do have a lot of talented, and more importantly, hard-working, girls coming up. I think the future is bright for Hudson High School girls’ soccer.”