River Falls Wildcats

The season is only two weeks old, but River Falls soccer coach Jacob Langer is already thinking about the playoffs.

The Wildcats earned two big wins over Holmen and Onalaska Saturday that Langer said could go a long way to determining sectional seeding. And he’s already doing a little scoreboard watching.

“This next week could very well wrap up seeding before we even hit October,” he noted. “Currently with New Richmond winning their games, the only three teams still in a position for the No. 1 seed will be us, New Richmond, and La Crosse Central.”

The Wildcats will visit New Richmond this Thursday night and the Tigers will host La Crosse Central Saturday, so the race for the top seed could be a lot clearer by this time next week.

“This is probably the biggest week for sectional games we've seen in my time here,” Langer said. “So it's fun being able to see how things shape up.”

Zack Nye, Morris Toppel and Caleb Selleck had a goal in the Wildcats’ 3-0 victory at Holmen last Saturday morning. Langer said the Cats controlled the game from start to finish, and Holmen didn’t register a shot on goal until he had rotated his starters out with about 10 minutes remaining.

Nye had a hat trick Saturday afternoon in the Cats’ 3-1 win at Onalaska. The Hilltpppers’ lone goal came off a late free kick.

“Onalaska plays on a really large field, which plays well to how we build into our attack and allows us to utilize our speed and athleticism,” Langer noted.

River Falls started the week with a 2-0 loss at Eau Claire Memorial in their Big Rivers Conference opener Thursday in Eau Claire. Nye hit the crossbar on a breakaway early and Selleck had a pair of headers hit the crossbar and sail just wide before Memorial scored on a penalty kick in the 60th minute and put the game away with a goal a little later.

“Overall I was fairly happy with the result,” Langer said. “Memorial is a very good, deep team and I felt the boys held their own and had chances that, if they'd put away, the story would've been different.”

Langer said his biggest message to the team moving forward is that they are in the driver's seat.

“They go do the hard work and get a result Thursday and things should go well,” he said. “But they need to work hard and be ready. Last year we weren't in for the grind of it and New Richmond gave us a big loss right when we needed a win. We can't afford a repeat of that this year.”

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