Somerset soccer can't keep pace with MBC leaders
Superior and New Richmond are the two top teams in the Middle Border Conference girls soccer race because of their team speed and ability to score goals in a hurry.
Somerset faced both of the MBC leaders last week. In stretches of both games the Spartans played well, but they couldn’t match their opponents’ firepower. The Spartans lost to New Richmond 3-0 on Thursday and at Superior on Friday, 5-0.
Superior is led by the state’s leading scorer, Malley O’Brien. But she wasn’t the star of the game. Somerset coach Erin Wilson-Gehring said Superior’s goalkeeper, Sammy Young, made several outstanding saves. Wilson-Gehring said Somerset’s Cassie Schmidt and Lauren Sandy both appeared to have shots headed into the upper corner of the goal, but Young showed excellent range to deflect the shots away.“We did have quite a few good scoring chances,” Wilson-Gehring said.O’Brien did score two goals and assisted on another. The two prettiest Superior goals were scored by Rachel Dixon off excellent passes from the corner.Superior led 2-0 at halftime, but Somerset didn’t allow a goal until the 32nd minute of the game. Superior scored its three second half goals in a 10-minute span.Somerset played the game without several varsity players because Friday’s game was rescheduled from a previous date and those players already had other commitments for the holiday weekend.On Thursday, the Spartans gave up three first half goals against New Richmond. The Spartans were the better team in the second half, but they couldn’t turn that improved play into goals.“We matched up and communicated much better in the second half,” Wilson-Gehring said.The best performance for the Spartans last week came last Tuesday when they went to Amery and recorded a 4-3 win in double overtime over the Warriors for Somerset’s fifth win of the season.The Spartans dug themselves a deep hole, trailing 3-1 at halftime in Tuesday’s game. Their only goal of the opening half was produced by junior Tayva Strom, who weaved her way past several Amery defenders to score her first career goal.Schmidt scored the final three Somerset goals. Her first goal came in the 60th minute, converting after Sandy made a nice entry pass from the outside. Schmidt tied the score in the 72nd minute, perfectly placing a shot into the upper corner of the net off a free kick.In the second overtime, Rachel Helgeson won a battle for a ball in the middle of the field. She saw Schmidt breaking open and fed her a pass. Schmidt was able to rifle a shot from 18 yards out that the Amery keeper couldn’t reach for the winning goal.The Spartans are in the midst of a six-game road trip to end the regular season. They play at Hayward this Friday before ending the regular season with a game at Spooner next Tuesday.This week is when the Spartans will find out their seeding in the WIAA Division 3 regional tournament. The Spartans are in a bracket with Amery, Ashland, Hayward, Osceola, Rice Lake and Spooner. The Spartans are hoping to earn a home game in the first round of regional tournament action, which begins on Thursday, June 5.