HUDSON -- Despite a 2-1 loss to Stevens Point on a slow field in the first game of the Cedarburg Quad last Friday, Sept. 6, the Hudson boys’ soccer team lived up to its No. 7 ranking in the initial Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association Division 1 state poll with a 7-0 shutout over Eau Claire North in its Big Rivers Conference opener Tuesday, Sept. 3, and a 1-0 win over quad host Cedarburg Saturday, Sept. 7.
The two-out-of-three week gives the Raiders a record of 3-2 heading into their BRC contest against Menomonie (2-2-1) Tuesday, Sept. 10. They’ll visit undefeated Rice Lake (4-0), the No. 9 ranked team in Division 3, Thursday, Sept. 12.
The Raiders got off to a quick start in their conference opener last Tuesday against Eau Claire North when they took the opening kick downfield and Tieg O’Kelly crossed a ball to the far post where Trevor Nava-Barber buried a header just 25 seconds into the match.
Sam Ross found Kolton Prater at the top of the box four minutes later and Prater blistered a shot into the corner and just like that it was 2-0.
Paul Phillipson assisted a goal by O’Kelly and O’Kelly served up another cross, this time to Joey Grikis, and it was 4-0 Hudson at the half.
Nava-Barber and Grikis each picked up their second goals of the game in the second half, sandwiched around a breakaway goal by Corey Denning, to make the final 7-0. Brothers Jared and Lukas Biederman combined for the shutout.
Friday night against Stevens Point head coach Steve Sollom said the field conditions gave the Raiders, who are used to playing on the artificial turf of Raider Stadium, some problems.
“The game was on some thick grass and we had trouble adjusting to the slowness, he said. “We got better as the game went on, and had several really good chances to score, only to either miss the goal, or have their keeper make a spectacular save, or their defender go behind the keeper and prevent the ball from going over the line.”
The Raiders gave up a goal off a turnover three minutes in before tying the score on a penalty kick by Nick Thompson with 20 minutes remaining. Hudson had opportunities to score the go-ahead goal several times in the closing minutes but Stevens Point finally scored the game-winner with nine minutes remaining off a header from a corner kick.
“And that was it,” Sollom said. “We didn't take advantage of the chances we earned, and they did.”
By Saturday’s game against host Cedarburg the Raiders had adjusted to the field conditions and focused on defense and taking less chances and O’Kelly scored the only goal of the game off a steal in the first half for a 1-0 win.
“Again though, we missed several good chances including a couple breakaways,” Sollom said.