New Richmond boys soccer ties top MBC opponents
Winning at Amery has been nearly impossible for the New Richmond boys soccer team throughout its history.
The Tigers didn't win at Amery on Monday, but they didn't lose either. The Tigers and Warriors battled through two halves and two overtime periods without scoring a goal, as the showdown for the Middle Border Conference lead ended in a scoreless tie.
This was the Tigers' second MBC tie in recent days. The Tigers fell behind 2-0 on their homefield against Somerset last Tuesday, before battling back to earn a 2-2 tie.
New Richmond, Amery and Somerset are knotted at the top of the MBC standings. New Richmond has 10 points with a 4-0-2 record heading into Tuesday's round of conference games. Amery and Somerset both stood at nine points, Amery with a 4-0-1 record and Somerset with a 4-1-1 record.
"We're still in a good position, we just have to beat Amery and Somerset the second time around," said Tiger coach Pete Melloy.
In terms of ball possession and scoring opportunities, the Tigers had a distinct edge in Monday's game. The Tigers took 26 shots, compared to eight for Amery. Melloy said the Tigers rushed several of those shots around the net.
Amery's best scoring chance came on a breakaway in the second overtime. New Richmond goalkeeper Rocco Ficociello was able to make a diving stop on the play to preserve the shutout.
The tie with Somerset featured two vastly different halves of play from the Tigers. The Tigers' usually sharp ball movement was absent in the first half, with Somerset taking full advantage to lead 2-0 at halftime.
New Richmond's first goal was on a penalty kick by Shane Blackman in the 53rd minute, following a handball call against the Spartans.
The Tigers got the tying goal in the 69th minute. Brad Brusewitz took a free kick from 40 yards out and was able to place his shot just under the crossbar.
Both teams had excellent scoring chances in the overtimes, but neither could convert.
"We were fortunate to get out of there with a tie," Melloy said. "They showed they have some grit, some tenacity. They showed they can come back."
Wins at Menomonie, Cumberland
The Tigers dominated ball control in a non-conference game at Menomonie on Saturday, winning 3-1.
The Tigers outshot the Mustangs 25-5. The Tigers scored the only goal of the first half when Luke Landaal scored 8:14 into the game off a corner kick.
The lead was extended to 2-0 when Shane Blackman scored on a penalty kick in the 49th minute. Croix Hare scored his first varsity goal off a pass from Nathan Feiner for the Tigers' final goal in the 61st minute.
Last Tuesday the Tigers needed to make some adjustments before they could pull away in a 6-1 win at Cumberland. The Cumberland didn't have irrigation and the dry grassless field made it difficult for the Tigers to use their ball-control style. Cumberland is a big, physical team, which added to the Tigers' challenge.
The only goal of the first 20 minutes was off a penalty kick by Tiger senior Casey Turnipseed. The Tigers added goals by Josh Geigle and Jack Hop before halftime. Luke Landaal scored New Richmond's first goal of the second half, with Charlie L'Allier netting the final two goals for his first two-goal varsity game.
The Tigers will play three home games in a five-day span for their next action. The Tigers will host River Falls this Friday in a non-conference game. The Tigers begin next week with a pair of MBC games. They host Spooner on Monday and Osceola on Tuesday. All three games are 4:30 p.m. starts.