Raider booters hit a wall
Trying to play catch-up with the schedule after all the cancellations to start the season may have taken a toll on the Raider girls soccer team last week.
Three days after a weekend trip to Milwaukee the Raiders traveled to Chippewa Falls and played flat in a 0-0 tie. Two nights later they lost to River Falls for the first time since 2013 by a score of 4-1. Then last weekend they fell 4-0 to Kimberly and 5-2 to D.C. Everest at the UW-Eau Claire Spring Classic.
The Raiders' hectic schedule continued this week with a makeup game at River Falls Monday, May 7, and a home match with Eau Claire North Tuesday, May 8. Head coach Steve Sollom admitted the team needs a break.
"We have been playing too many games and it's catching up to us with injuries and fatigue," he said. "We need a break and a chance to have a practice and reorganize, but we won't get one until Wednesday."
After looking listless at Chippewa Falls Tuesday, May 1, the Raiders played a clean game against River Falls Thursday, May 3, at home, but a few bad breaks and a late letdown led to a 4-1 loss to the Wildcats.
"They scored in the first half on a bad clearing attempt by one of our defenders," Sollom said. "We hit the crossbar and had a few chances but we didn't convert and we were down 1-0 at the half. The second half we were pressuring and then they got a free kick for some reason and it was perfectly placed and they knocked it in for a 2-0 lead. We didn't respond well after that goal and had a couple miscues that cost us goals."
Friday the Raiders gave up three goals in the second half in a 4-0 loss to sixth-ranked Kimberly before falling to Stevens Point and arguably the best player in the state Maddie Simpson, 5-2, Saturday.
"We tried to focus on making someone else beat us and not let her dominate the game," Sollom said. "Forty-three seconds into the game she scored on a breakaway. We tied it when Carly Tewinkle hit a beautiful free kick from 25 yards out. But Simpson struck again just a minute later and added a hat trick, all in the first half."
Cam Masini netted a second half goal for the Raiders but it wasn't enough as they slipped to 5-5-1 on the season.
After a chance to practice Wednesday, May 9, the Raiders will visit Superior Thursday, May 10, before returning to action Tuesday, May 15, at Menomonie.