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New Richmond goalkeeper (left) boots the ball away from an onrushing River Falls player during last Thursday’s regional playoff game.

New Richmond soccer does everything right in playoffs, except win

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The win didn’t happen, but the New Richmond girls soccer team put up an excellent battle in the opening round of the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament last Thursday.

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The Tigers battled old nemesis River Falls, led by former Tigers coach Charles Conley. The Tigers were able control the ball for major parts of the game, but weren’t able to find ways to get the ball past the River Falls goalkeeper, losing 3-0. The Tigers end their season with a 12-9-1 record.

River Falls got a quick advantage in the game. The Tigers had controlled the ball in the opening minutes. River Falls was able to score on its first charge up the field, seven minutes into game. The Wildcats scored again in the 17th minute. The Wildcats got four corner kicks after a Tiger defender continued to kick the ball out of bounds. On the fourth try, the corner kick was lobbed to the far side of the goal, where a Wildcat forward was able to redirect the ball into the goal.

The Wildcats scored their final goal in the 60th minute. The goal came on the Wildcats’ only shot on goal of the second half.

Tiger coach Steve Tesar raved about the effort his team gave during the game.

“We controlled the whole game. We won every 50-50 ball. Everyone on this team played well,” Tesar said.

When the Tigers and Wildcats met earlier this season, River Falls dictated the style of game that was played. That changed this time.

“It was a physical game. I think we were the more physical team,” Tesar said.

The Tigers were an extremely young team this season. Their most important loss to graduation will be senior Tina Montpetit, one of the top players in the conference.

“She will be extremely hard to replace,” Tesar said.

This was a major season of transition for the Tigers. After winning one game in 2013, the 12 wins this season moved the Tigers among the leaders in the Middle Border Conference.

To keep the improvement happening, Tesar said the girls need to keep playing over the summer. He said the girls also need to continue their commitment to the Tiger Strength program. He said the team’s injury totals have been much lower, which Tesar contributed to the girls’ work in the weight room.

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Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
(715) 243-7767 x242
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