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Hudson Raiders soccer team posts BRC win, draw

Hudson sophomore Alexa Haines celebrates, to the dismay of Rice Lake's goalkeeper and two defenders, after a free kick by Nicole Mara from 30-yards out sailed over the goalkeeper's head and into the net for the first goal of the game in the Raiders' 6-1 victory over the Warriors last Tuesday at the middle school field. Photo by Bob Burrows1 / 2
Senior Cassie Wurm beats a Rice Lake defender before sending a cross in front of the goal in the first half of the Raiders' 6-1 victory over the Warriors last Tuesday at the middle school field. Photo by Bob Burrows2 / 2

The Raider girls' soccer team scored a season-high six goals in a Big Rivers Conference win over Rice Lake last Tuesday, April 24 before playing Eau Claire North to a 1-1 tie in its first road game of the season on Thursday, April 26.

The Raiders, now 2-2-1 in BRC play, hosted Chippewa Falls (1-3-1) this past Tuesday and will play a nonconference game at Somerset this Saturday, May 5, at 10 a.m. before resuming BRC play Tuesday, May 8, at first place Eau Claire Memorial (5-0-0).

Last Tuesday at home against Rice Lake (0-5-0) the Raiders scored five first-half goals on their way to their second BRC victory of the season.

"It felt good to score some goals," head coach Allie Knutson said. "I was happy to see us put the ball away like we should, especially since we had only scored two goals in games up to this point. As usual, there's a lot that we need to work on, but tonight was a step in the right direction."

Junior defender Nicole Mara started the scoring by angling a free kick from 30 yards out over the Warrior goalkeeper's head and into the upper far corner of the net 11 minutes into the game.

After Rice Lake tied the score off a rebound, senior forward McKenzie Buck fired a left-footed shot from the edge of the penalty box that hit the crossbar and bounced high into the air. Senior captain Alyssa Claflin was there to make a sliding left-footed shot past the Warrior goalkeeper to give Hudson the lead for good in the 16th minute.

Claflin added another goal before halftime and the Raiders also picked up goals by freshman Maggie Koehler, assisted by Buck, and senior Meredith Howard, with an assist from classmate Emily Annen, to open up a 5-1 lead at intermission.

Hudson's only goal of the second half was off the foot of senior captain Molly Bichrt, who moved up from her center back position to play an attacking role.

Thursday at Eau Claire North, Claflin gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 11th minute, assisted by senior Cassie Wurm. The Raider defense, sparked by senior goalkeeper Megan Nelson, made the lead stand until the Huskies scored in the 69th minute to salvage a 1-1 tie. Nelson finished with five saves in the game.

Knutson said she was pleased with the way the Raiders attacked in the draw.

"We created a lot of opportunities for ourselves, which was good to see," she said.

Two games scheduled for the Onalaska Quad Saturday were canceled due to weather, which Knutson said was disappointing.

"I was really looking forward to a couple of nonconference games to work on things," she said.

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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