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Somerset’s Lauren Sandy fires a pass toward the front of the net during a recent Spartan game. Somerset’s offense has taken a sharp upturn since the team has improved in its ability to work the ball deep into the offensive corners of the field, setting up passes toward the front of the goal.

Somerset soccer edged in offensive battle, 4-3

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Somerset soccer edged in offensive battle, 4-3
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Somerset’s girls soccer team continued its offensive upturn in its game at Osceola last Tuesday, but the Spartans faltered in the defensive side of the game.


The Spartans were knocked off by the Chieftains 4-3 on Osceola’s artificial turf field.

Somerset outshot Osceola in the game, but Osceola made the most of its chances.

Osceola scored six minutes into the game, but the Spartans answered quickly. Senior Cassie Schmidt scored the team’s first goal in the eighth minute. The goal came on a crossing pass from the corner. Schmidt received the pass near the 18-yard mark and quickly deposited the ball in the Osceola goal.

The pattern repeated itself 10 minutes later. Osceola scored in the 16th minute, with the Spartans re-tying the score two minutes later. This time it was Elsie Shartin-Folkert scoring for the Spartans. Osceola’s goalkeeper came out of the goal in an attempt to challenge Shartin-Folkert, but the Spartan sophomore chipped the ball over the keeper’s reach and into the goal.

Osceola scored late in the first period and early in the second half to build a 4-2 lead. The Spartans narrowed the lead to 4-3 when Alyssa Kelly scored her first varsity goal. All three Somerset goals were the product of similar plays, with the Spartans working the ball to the middle of the field to produce quality scoring chances.

Playing on Osceola’s turf was a big adjustment for the Spartans early in the game.

“It was really challenging for our defense because the ball bounces so differently,” said Somerset coach Erin Wilson-Gehring.

The loss dropped the Spartans back to the .500 level in the MBC at 4-4-1.

Last Thursday’s home game against Hayward was cancelled after 25 minutes of play because of the heavy rain that moved through the area. The schools are still trying to find a makeup date for the game because Hayward has a number of previous cancellations this season. Hayward was leading 1-0, but that won’t matter when the game is replayed. They will start the game fresh at that date.

Hayward scored five minutes into the action on Thursday. Wilson-Gehring said the team’s tendency toward giving up goals early in games is concerning and it was going to be addressed in the team’s practices this week.

The Spartans face a challenge this Thursday, when they travel to Superior. (This game has been switched to Friday). Superior’s Spartans are the two-time defending MBC champions and they’re one of the three teams ahead of Somerset in this year’s standings.

On Saturday, the Spartans will hold their annual quad tournament, with Bayfield, Rice Lake and Amery as the visiting teams. The Spartans will face Amery next Tuesday, playing on the Warriors’ home turf in a conference game.

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.
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