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Raider girls' soccer team has a tough night; bounces back against New Richmond

Sophomore forward Maggie Koehler leaps high in the air to get her head on a corner kick in the first half of the Raider girls' soccer team's game against Eau Claire North last Tuesday night at the middle school field. Koehler scored a second half goal but it wasn't enough as the Raiders fell, 2-1. Photos by Bob Burrow

The Raider girls' soccer team did its best to regroup following an emotional halftime ceremony in remembrance of former teammate Jordan Costello last Tuesday night against Eau Claire North. But on a bittersweet night at the middle school field the Huskies held off the Raiders for a 2-1 victory.

Raider players wore special T-shirts during pre-game warm-ups in memory of No. 4 Costello, a 2012 Hudson High School graduate, and for suicide prevention and awareness.

Costello's parents, Melissa and Vince awarded the first Jordan Costello Scholarships to graduating Raider seniors Lauren Lingenfelter, Sadie Gray, Nicole Mara and Kristin Sobottka at halftime before the Raiders and Huskies took part in a balloon release that left both players and fans teary-eyed.

"It was a tough night for the girls I think, with the game being in memory of No. 4 Jordan Costello," Raider head coach Allie Knutson said. "But she is in their hearts all of the time, so it was an important game, I think, for the girls to play. It meant a lot to us to work with Jordan's parents to make it happen and keep remembering Jordan."

By the time the action picked up again in the second half the Raiders were able to get a goal from sophomore Maggie Koehler, but that's as close as they could get and the Huskies held off a late Raider charge for the 2-1 victory.

Eau Claire North opened the scoring 11 minutes into the contest, which Knutson said set the tone for the first half.

"Organizationally, I think we struggled in the first half," the coach said. "The girls picked it up and got a goal back in the second half but at that point we were down by two. They created a lot of chances in the second half and had opportunities, but we were not able to get the additional second and third goals we would have needed to in order to win."

Hudson regained its winning form this past Monday with a 1-0 overtime victory over New Richmond. The Raider outshot the Tigers, 29-2 but couldn't find the back of the net until sophomore Kate Sanocki knocked in a cross from Koehler two minutes into the extra session.

"It was nice to see the girls convert on that opportunity they created," Knutson said. "Our backline wasn't tested much and were able to get up in the attack a bit, though this is something we will continue to work on."

The Raiders hosted Menomonie this past Tuesday, May 7, and will host Rice Lake Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m. before visiting Amery for a 4:30 p.m. game Monday, May 13. They return home to host Eau Claire Memorial Tuesday, May 14, at 7 p.m.

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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