When the New Richmond boys’ soccer team suffered its first loss in Big Rivers Conference play on Thursday, it did not alter the team’s overall focus for the season.
The first loss of the season for the Tigers was a 2-0 setback at Hudson on Thursday. The loss leaves the Tigers with a 3-1-1 record for the season. They earned a BRC win on Tuesday when they defeated Menomonie, 5-0.
Facing Hudson is one of the litmus tests for the Tigers, as the Raiders and Eau Claire Memorial have been the top programs in the BRC for a decade or more. The BRC plays a tournament at the end of the season that has two pools of four teams. For the Tigers, the goal from the start of the season has been to get one of the remaining spots in the pool of the top four teams in the top of the standings.
Next week carries huge weight for the Tigers in those hopes. They face Chippewa Falls on Tuesday and Rice Lake on Thursday. Both those teams also have hopes of placing among the top four teams.
Hudson scored once in each half of Thursday’s game. The Tigers limited Hudson to five shots on goal, but the Raiders converted on two of those chances.
New Richmond coach Darian Blattner said Hudson deserves the credit for the win.
“It felt like we were a half-step slow. Hudson’s great at getting to the 50-50 balls,” Blattner said.
When the Tigers hosted Menomonie on Tuesday, it was the Tigers who appeared a half-step quicker. All five of the Tigers’ goals were assisted, a sign that they had excellent ball movement in the game. Senior Jovani Perez-Sanchez led the team with two goals and an assist. Charlie Gess produced one goal and two assists, with Cohan Hare and Andrew Blattner each finishing with one goal and one assist.