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Soccer adjusting to turf

While most of the attention was focused on the Raider football team's first game at the new high school stadium last week, Hudson's boys soccer team was actually the first to play on the new turf field.

The Raiders hosted Woodbury under the lights Thursday, Aug. 24, and while the outcome was a 2-1 loss, head coach Steve Sollom said there was plenty to like about the brand new facility.

"It was like an away game for us," he said. "We got on the stadium field the day before the game for the very first time and haven't been on turf this fall at all. Soccer is a little different on turf and it will take some time to adjust. Overall, the field played slower than a lot of turf fields and seemed closer to actual grass than a lot of typical turf fields. And of course it was exciting to open the new stadium and we had a really large turnout of fans for the occasion."

Sollom said Woodbury returned most of its starters from last year while the Raiders have a lot of new faces, so he knew it would be a tough game on turf. Still, the first half was fairly even before the Royals scored late to take a 1-0 lead at the break.

Hudson tied things midway through the second half when Santi Vergara's shot was stopped by the stretched out Woodbury goalkeeper and Ryan Moothedan was there to put home the rebound.

The Royals came right back with a breakaway goal, however, and held on for the 2-1 win.

"Woodbury took control after that and had several good chances to seal the game, but Corey Denning came up with some huge saves to keep it a one goal game," Sollom said. "In the end we just couldn't find another goal."

The Raiders hosted Stillwater this past Tuesday, Aug. 29, and will open Big Rivers Conference play against Eau Claire Memorial Thursday, Aug 31, at 7 p.m. before visiting Rice lake Tuesday, Sept. 5.

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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