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Soccer snaps four game skid

Hudson goalkeeper Corey Denning beats teammate Cole Ober (6) and River Falls' Jared Syverson to a loose ball in the box in the first half of the Raider boys soccer team's 2-0 Big Rivers Conference victory over the Wildcats Thursday, Sept. 14, at Raider Stadium. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
Hudson senior forward Sant Vergara gets his head on a corner kick and redirects in just wide as River Falls' Michael Vitt tries to defend in the second half of the Raider boys soccer team's 2-0 Big Rivers Conference victory over the Wildcats Thursday, Sept. 14, at Raider Stadium. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

The Raider boys soccer team snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-0 Big Rivers Conference win over River Falls Thursday, Sept. 14, before dropping a pair of matches in Madison over the weekend.

Hudson fell to third-ranked Middleton, 5-1, Friday before falling to Oregon, 2-0, on Saturday.

The Raiders, now 3-8 overall, 3-2 in the BRC, will have a full week off after visiting Eau Claire North (2-6-1, 1-3-1) Tuesday, Sept. 19. They will travel to Menomonie (3-5-1, 1-4-1) Tuesday, Sept. 26 before hosting Rice Lake (4-5-1, 2-2-1) Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m.

Head coach Steve Sollom said the Raiders are struggling to score goals, but are creating chances.

"The River Falls kids played a great first half and held us to 0-0, but we really should have scored on at least one of our chances," he said about last Thursday's game against the Wildcats. "The second half we found the back of the net even though it was a similar type of half."

Both Raider goals came in the final 20 minutes, on a hard left-footed shot by Kolton Prater and a breakaway goal by Sant Vergara that was set up by a Prater through ball.

Sollom didn't mince words when he talked about Friday's 5-1 loss to Middleton.

"Our game Friday at Middleton was embarrassing, and I don't use that word lightly," he said. "We weren't ready to play and we were down 4-0 in the first 10 minutes, and it could have been worse. Middleton is a good team, but we can certainly compete with them. To say it's frustrating would be an understatement."

The Raiders regrouped Saturday against Oregon, who had beaten BRC leader Eau Claire Memorial 3-0, the previous day, but couldn't capitalize on their scoring chances.

"We came out and played hard like we should have and really had a couple great chances to take the lead, but didn't convert," Sollom noted.

Oregon took a 1-0 lead right before the half on a counterattack following a Raider corner kick.

"Even though we were down 1-0 I was pleased with our effort and thought we'd come back," Sollom said. "And we really should have, but we just couldn't score even though we had a lot of great chances, including two or three breakaways."

Oregon got an insurance goal with five minutes remaining to keep the Raiders winless in nonconference play this season.

"I think we're close to turning the corner on a lot of these games," Sollom said. "They are fairly even matches, but our lack of finishing and the other team's ability to finish is the difference."

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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