HUDSON, Wis. -- Defense was the trademark of the Hudson boys’ soccer team this season, so it’s no wonder that two of the Raiders’ top defenders and their goalkeeper were named to the 2020 Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association All-State Team.
Senior co-captains Tieg O’Kelly and Sam Ros and junior goalkeeper Lucas Biederman earned spots on the team after the Raiders reached the semifinals of the WIAA Boys’ State Soccer Tournament and finished the season with a record of 11-1-1.
New Richmond senior Michael Benedict was also named to the all-state squad after leading the Tigers to their second straight Middle Border Conference championship.
Hudson coach Steve Sollom said O’Kelly not only anchored the Raider defense, but was versatile enough to play anywhere on the field depending on who the Raiders were facing.
“Against top teams he marked the opponent’s best player and shut them down for the most part,” Sollom noted. “If there wasn't a particularly dangerous player to worry about, Teig would play on the wing and get up in the attack.”
Sollom said O’Kelly has a strong leg and consistently served balls into the goal area to create chances for his teammates. He was also a threat on corner kicks and took most of the Raiders’ free kicks as well.
“Teig was mostly unnoticed in lopsided games, as defenders don't get a lot of action then,” Sollom said. “But he really shined when our team was being challenged.”
Ross is another two-way player who can defend and attack, exemplified by his four goals and nine assists in 13 games this season.
“Sam has a really high work rate and hustles all over the field,” Sollom said. “He causes a lot of problems for the other team stealing balls and creating scoring chances. He's a crafty, smart player, is surprisingly strong with the ball, and has the ability to keep his balance while fighting off contact.”
Biederman started every game in goal for the Raiders and allowed just one goal -- a penalty kick -- heading into the Raiders’ state semifinal match against Marquette. He finished the season with a .980 save percentage and 0.10 goals against average.
“He was certainly helped by a strong defense, but showed up big in close games when he was needed for a big save,” Sollom said.
New Richmond’s Benedict was named the Middle Border Conference Player of the Year this season after scoring 23 goals and dishing out 10 assists in conference play. A repeat All-MBC pick, he helped lead the Tigers to a conference record of 10-0 while extending their conference unbeaten streak to 20 games.