New Richmond girls soccer beginning to find offensive sparkWith a win and two ties in their last three games, the New Richmond girls soccer team appears to be overcoming the lack of offense that led to an 0-4 start this season.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
With a win and two ties in their last three games, the New Richmond girls soccer team appears to be overcoming the lack of offense that led to an 0-4 start this season.
The Tigers earned their first win of the season last Tuesday, knocking off one of the Middle Border Conference leaders. Superior was unbeaten in the MBC until the Tigers dealt the Spartans a 2-1 defeat.
On Thursday the Tigers followed up their win with a hard-fought 1-1 tie at Somerset.
New Richmond got the early advantage on Superior and kept it throughout the game. The Tigers scored in the first five minutes of the game. Junior Abby Skoyen has shown the power to send corner kicks right to the front of the opposing goal. She took the early corner kick against Superior, with the ball arcing into a mass of players. The ball struck the back of a Superior player and went directly into the net, giving Skoyen credit for the goal.
The Tigers scored again early in the second half. Kaycie Anderson took a direct kick 40 yards from the Superior goal. She got the ball to Tina Montpetit at the top of the 18-yard box. Montpetit one-timed the ball past the Superior goalie at the 54:36 mark.
Superior scored with 49 seconds left in the game, when the Tiger defense was caught flowing in one direction and a Spartan player was able to turn and shoot the ball into the opposite corner of the goal.
That win led into the always spirited game with Somerset on Thursday. The first half of the game saw the teams playing contrasting offensive styles. Somerset was trying to keep the ball with short, controlled passes, while New Richmond kept trying to send long lead passes up the field, hoping they would result in breakaways.
Both teams got their goals late in the first half. The Tigers scored off another corner kick. Skoyen’s boot landed directly in front of the Somerset goal. A scramble ensued and New Richmond’s Keagan Van Eperen was able to pop the ball into the net in the 33rd minute of the game.
Tesar said Van Eperen’s height has proven to be helpful as the Tiger station her inside the goalie box during corner kicks. She is able to use headers to get control of the ball and she’s good at obstructing the view of the opposing goalkeeper.
Somerset was able to score less than four minutes later on a perfectly placed shot just under the crossbar. Tiger coach Steve Tesar said goalie Catalina Prada-Hernandez was upset that the shot got past her, but said there was no way she could have reached the shot.
While there was no more scoring, it wasn’t because of a lack of trying. New Richmond did a much better job in the second half and the overtimes of spreading the ball to the players on the edges of the field and then having them move the ball upfield quickly with runs or long passes.
Tesar said the Tigers produced enough good scoring chances to win, especially a number of breakaways in the overtimes. He said the girls need to work on finishing off those scoring chances.
The Tigers had tons of chances, finishing with 30 shots in the game. The coaches have been emphasizing getting more shots, figuring it will soon result in more goals.
Tesar said he was pleased with how the Tigers rose up to meet Somerset’s intensity in the game.
“It was a traditional Somerset-New Richmond game. Somerset always plays their best against us.”
The Tigers will play another conference game this Thursday, when Barron’s girls visit. The Tigers will go outside the conference on Friday, playing under the lights at Rice Lake for a 7 p.m. game.