New Richmond girls soccer waiting for offensive reinforcementsThe timing of spring break in New Richmond was not helpful for the Tiger girls soccer team.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The timing of spring break in New Richmond was not helpful for the Tiger girls soccer team.
With several of their leading scorers out of town for spring break, the Tigers have struggled in the offensive half of the field. After being shutout in their first four games of the season, the Tigers got their first goal last Thursday in a 1-1 tie against Baldwin-Woodville.
The tie leaves the Tigers with a 0-2-1 record in Middle Border Conference games. Two days before the tie, the Tigers put up a spirited battle against defending MBC champion Hayward, but lost 1-0. The Tigers are 0-4-1 overall in their first five games.
Tiger coach Steve Tesar is keeping the faith that the team’s offensive woes will disappear now that everyone has returned to the team this week.
“Once we get the offense going, we’ll win some games. Once we have our whole team back from spring break, I think the offense will come together,” he said.
Hanna Hagen scored for the Tigers against Baldwin-Woodville, netting the game’s first goal at the 13:47 mark. Hagen took a pass from Tiger stopper Tiffany Olek that caught the B-W goalkeeper out of position. Hagen was on the right side of the field and she struck a low shot against the grain, going into the goal just inside the far post.
The Tigers maintained the 1-0 lead until the 67th minute. A Blackhawk player dribbled in, got the Tiger defense moving in one direction, then tucked a shot into the vacated side of the net.
One of the revelations for the Tigers in the games last week was the play of senior goalie Catalina Prada-Hernandez. She stopped 19 of 20 shots against Baldwin-Woodville and 18 of 19 shots against Hayward.
“Catalina kept us in the game,” Tesar said of the Hayward contest. “She was making unbelievable saves.”
The only goal of the Hayward game came in the final 30 seconds of the first half. The short-handed Tigers were winded at the end of the period, giving up three corner kicks in the final 90 seconds of the period. The Hurricanes finally capitalized on the third of those chances.
While the offense has struggled, Tesar proudly pointed to the defensive effort the Tigers have put together early this season. In their three MBC games, the Tigers have allowed three goals.
With one senior on the roster, there are high hopes for the Tigers’ future. To help the team reach that potential, Tesar has agreed to coach the girls over the summer. Sixteen of the players have signed up for the team, with Tesar hoping to get the girls a dozen or more games against good competition.
The Tigers resume their schedule this Thursday with a game at Somerset. This meeting always brings out a feisty attitude from both teams. With both teams seeking their first conference win, this game holds heavy importance.
Next Tuesday the Tigers will play at Amery.