Since 2008, Hudson and Eau Claire Memorial are the only two teams to win Big Rivers Conference boys’ soccer titles. Both entered their Tuesday, Sept. 11 matchup in Eau Claire 3-0 in BRC play this season. And for nearly 88 minutes neither team could get the upper hand.
Then Hudson’s Nick Thompson found the ball at his feet at the edge of the penalty box and sent a shot through traffic, inches past diving Eau Claire Memorial goalkeeper Tyler Hanson, for the only goal of the game to give the Raiders a 1-0 victory over the defending BRC champion Old Abes.
The win moved Hudson into sole possession of first place in the BRC while Eau Claire Memorial slipped a half game behind Rice Lake (4-1) into third place.
The Raiders had the advantage early, outshooting the Old Abes 9-3 in the first half. Thompson nearly scored midway through the half on a header off a free kick by Kolton Prater but Hanson got a finger on it and tipped it over the crossbar.
Prater had a hard shot stopped by Hanson in the 24th minute and banged a shot off the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area just before halftime that kept the game scoreless at the break.
Eau Claire Memorial outshot Hudson 5-4 in the second half but couldn’t get one past Raider goalkeeper Corey Denning. The Raiders had a goal disallowed by an offsides call in the 67th minute before Thompson got the gamer-winner with under two minutes remaining.
Eau Claire Memorial has won seven BRC championships since 208, including last year, while Hudson’s conference titles came in 2008, 2015 and 2016. The two teams will meet again Thursday, Oct. 4, in Hudson.