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Soccer team set up battle for first

Raider senior defender Ben Markowski (white jersey) races downfield to intercept a pass intended for an Eau Claire North forward in the first half of the Raiders' 3-1 victory over the Huskies last Tuesday at the middle school field. Bob Burrows photo

The Raider soccer team finished a busy seven days of action with a record of 3-1-1, including a pair of Big Rivers Conference wins to stay on top of the conference standings.

Hudson defeated Eau Claire North, 3-1, last Tuesday at home and blanked Chippewa Falls, 5-0, Thursday to remain in first place in the BRC with a record of 5-0-1, two points ahead of 4-0-1 Eau Claire Memorial.

First place will be on the line when the Raiders and Old Abes square off Thursday, Sept. 17 in Hudson at 7 p.m. at the middle school field. The two teams tied, 1-1, in the BRC opener Aug. 25.

In last Tuesday's win over Eau Claire North, the Raiders scored two goals five minutes apart late in the second half to snap a 1-1 tie. Chris Berglund netted the go-ahead goal off a corner kick from Kenzie Lund in the 67th minute to give Hudson a 2-1 lead, and David Nettleton added his second goal of the game in the 72nd minute, assisted by Nick Lund, to make the final 3-1.

Berglund's goal came two minutes after the Huskies had tied the score 1-1. Nick Lund also assisted on Nettleton's first goal early in the second half that gave Hudson a 1-0 lead.

"We controlled the game in midfield and limited North to direct play," Raider coach Chuck Bublitz said.

Lars Bichrt and Ben Markowski shared Man of the Match honors for their play against North's strong forward, Keilor Eggen. Jimmy Setzer made for saves in goal.

Thursday at Chippewa Falls, Kenzie Lund, Nettleton, John Tjornehoj and Nick Lund accounted for the Raiders scoring while midfielders Noah Harmon and J.C. Tantalean shared Man of the Match honors by helping exploit gaps left in the Cardinals defense.

"It was a strong effort against an inspired Chippewa Falls team," Bublitz said.

The Raiders traveled to Madison Saturday and posted a 1-1 record at the Madison West Tournament, defeating the seventh-ranked host team, 2-1, after losing to Verona, 3-0.

"We fought through injuries to starting mid J.C. Tantalean and starting defender Lars Bichrt," Bublitz said about the loss to Verona. "We came out flat and were unable to get into the game. Verona played extremely well and made us pay when we made mistakes. It was a good learning experience for the team."

Hudson bounced back by battling back from a 1-0 deficit to knock off seventh-ranked Madison West, 2-1, later in the day.

"Kenzie Lund scored an amazing goal to tie the game, fighting off a defender to chip the goalkeeper with a first time shot from outside the penalty area," Bublitz said.

Berglund scored the game-winner in the 76th minute off a corner kick.

"He made a long run across the box and beat the defender to the ball to smash it home near post," Bublitz said.

Monday night the Raiders tied Stillwater, 1-1, to bring their overall season record to 7-1-2. Nick Lund scored late in the game to tie the score while David Nanda made some big saves in goal to limit Stillwater to one goal.

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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