HUDSON-- The Raider boys’ soccer team ran its unbeaten streak to 11 straight and continued on track for a Big Rivers Conference title showdown with Eau Claire Memorial this THursday with three more wins last week.
The Raiders handed New Richmond its first loss of the season, 3-0, on a soggy Tuesday night at home and routed Menomonie 7-0 in the rain Thursday before improving to 7-0-1 in BRC play with a 4-1, homecoming victory over Rice Lake Friday afternoon.
The Raiders have another big week this week with Thursday’s match at Eau Claire Memorial (6-0-1) looming for the conference title. Eau Claire Memorial is ranked sixth in the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association Division 1 poll while Hudson is No. 8. The Raiders and Old Abes played to a 1-1 tie in Hudson Sept. 17.
Hudson coach Steve Sollom said the Raiders played well on both ends in a convincing 3-0 win over previously unbeaten New Richmond last Tuesday.
“The weather was nasty, which made our possession even more impressive,” Sollom said. “We had the ball possession probably 80% of the time and made it hard for them to get anything going offensively.”
Joey Grikis put home a rebound of a Kolton Prater shot off the crossbar in the first half for a 1-0 Hudson lead before Teig O’Kelly made it 2-0 when he tapped in a rebound off a shot by Trevor Nava Barber. Nick Thompson scored the third Raider goal midway through the second half and they coasted from there.
Thursday night’s weather in Menomonie was no better but the Raiders scored all seven of their goals in the second half in a 7-0 win.
Trevor Nava-Barber had a hat trick, Thompson scored two goals, O’Kelly had one and defender Braeden Miller scored his first of the year. Jared Biederman earned the shutout in goal, the team’s eighth of the year.
The Raiders found themselves trailing Rice Lake, who sits in third place in the BRC standings, 1-0 at halftime Friday at home but rallied for four goals in the second half to improve to 12-2-2 overall.
Hudson had plenty of chances early but couldn’t capitalize and Rice Lake took advantage of a defensive lapse to take a 1-0 lead.
“We got a little loose and careless in the back and conceded an early goal from a cross and a header to a wide open player out front,” Sollom said. “We felt a little pressure at that point and got a little frustrated as we got very close to tying the match and were denied time and again.”
The second half was a lot like the first, only Hudson finished its chances. Joey Grikis tied it up with a nifty far post finish and just like that, the floodgates opened. Prater made a nice run for the go-ahead goal and Grikis scored again off a pass from Paul Phillipson to make it 3-1 in the 80th minute. Grikis completed his hat trick a few minutes later to make the final 4-1.