HUDSON, Wis. -- The benefit of earning a top seed in the WIAA Division 1 regional this season is that you only have to win one game to reach the sectional round. And that’s what the Hudson’s boys’ soccer team did Saturday, Oct. 24, although it wasn’t easy.
The Raiders scored a goal in each half to earn a 2-0 victory over Onalaska to advance to a sectional semifinal against No. 3 seed New Richmond Thursday, Oct. 29. The Tigers knocked off No. 2 seed River Falls in a shootout Saturday to move on.
Hudson coach Steve Sollom said the Raiders had to work hard to defeat Onalaska.
“Onalaska has a quality side and were very organized,” he said. “We scored an early goal that was disallowed and had several other early chances that we couldn't convert, which made me start to wonder if this was going to be one of those days for us.”
The Raiders appeared to take a 1-0 lead off the foot of Trevor Nava-Barber nine minutes into the match but Nava-Barber was ruled offside on the play. They finally broke the scoreless tie off a set play in the 25th minute on a Darren Chukel header off a free kick by Sam Ross.
But it was still anyone’s game in the second half.
“We really hadn't allowed many chances in the first half,” Sollom noted. “They kind of parked the bus out in front of their own goal so they didn't attack much, but they are a dangerous team on free kicks and all it takes is one foul and they could tie it.”
As the second half wore on, Onalaska began taking more chances and the Raiders capitalized on the counter attack with a through pass from Ross to Nava-Barber for a breakaway goal with about 12 minutes left to seal the win.
Hudson and New Richmond will square off in a sectional semifinal Thursday night, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. at Raider Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Tigers 5-0 back on Oct. 2 in New Richmond in a game that was closer than the score indicated. Thursday’s winner will move on to the sectional final against either Wausau West or Baraboo Saturday, Oct. 31, at 1 p.m. in Hudson.