Hudson Raiders

The Hudson boys soccer team has high aspirations this season after a Big Rivers Conference championship and state final appearance last year. But head coach Steve Sollom said that’s still a long way off.

“We are just trying to figure out who we are this year,” he said. “We lost a lot of talent from last year's squad but still have a good core group returning, so the expectations are high.”

The Raiders got off to a pretty good start last week, blanking Stevens Point 5-0 in their season opener last Tuesday behind a pair of goals from Shawn Berger, a breakaway goal by Owen Wasmund and a goal apiece from Darren Chukel and Aaron Sparling.

Thursday and Saturday Hudson participated in the Minnesota Cup, featuring four teams that made their respective state tournament last year. The Raiders drew Minnesota state runner-up Rosemount on Thursday and came away with a 2-1 victory.

Both Raider goals came in the first half off the feet of Berger and Wasmund. Sollom said the Raider defense, anchored by senior goalkeeper Toby Schneider, senior defenders Liam Salama and Cohen Bolopue, and sophomores Nikki Alenov and Henry Vandenbark, played very well.”

We have an inexperienced back line and they were tested by a strong group of forwards from Rosemount,” he said.

Sollom said the Raiders missed a couple of chances in the second half that could have put the game out of reach before conceding a late goal to make for a nerve-wracking final final minutes.

In Saturday’s title match Hudson faced Stillwater in a game that Sollom said is already a bit of a rivalry.

“We had a ton of energy, but weren't disciplined with it and let our emotions get the best of us at times,” he said.

Even so, the Raiders took a 1-0 lead into halftime on a free kick by Harry Ross that was headed into the net by Berger. But Sollom said the Raiders were on their heels a bit in the second half and gave up a goal with about 20 minutes remaining before Stillwater scored the game winner with 10 minutes left.

“We learned a lot about our team in that loss,” Sollom said. “And it was a good experience for us to play some really good teams.”

Hudson will open BRC play Thursday night at Chippewa Falls before hosting Eau Claire Memorial Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m.

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