Somerset soccer team earns first shutout in program's historyThe Somerset boys soccer team has visions of being an offensive powerhouse this season. In the second half of the Spartans’ game at Hayward last Thursday, that offensive force began to shine through.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The Somerset boys soccer team has visions of being an offensive powerhouse this season. In the second half of the Spartans’ game at Hayward last Thursday, that offensive force began to shine through.
The Spartans scored five times in the second half to win their 2012 Middle Border Conference opener at Hayward, 6-0. That came two days after the Spartans lost their season opening game to Menomonie in overtime, 4-3.
The win at Hayward was a healthy start to the MBC season for the Spartans. The team battled through 38 minutes of the first half before the Spartans scored their first goal. Logan Wiederin netted the goal off an assist from Jon Bucklew. Wiederin fills the role held by Zach Dybedahl last season as part of the Spartans’ three-part offensive charge. Bucklew and Gavin Meader return as the other top offensive threats for the Spartans.
The game swung quickly in Somerset’s favor in the second half, with the Spartans pumping five balls into the Hayward goal in the first 20 minutes of the half. That started at the 2:25 mark when Meader scored off an assist from Bucklew. Seven minutes later, Bucklew scored off a feed from Wiederin. In the next 10 minutes, Bucklew would score two more goals and Meader would add another.
Aaron Joppru made four saves to get the shutout in goal for the Spartans. This is a landmark win for the Spartans because it is the first regular season shutout in team history. Somerset coach Bill Roll said getting a shutout this season was one of the goals the team had set for itself.
Last Tuesday’s loss against Menomonie was a back-and-forth battle with both teams holding a clear momentum edge during parts of the game. The Spartans looked sharp in the first 20 minutes of the game, getting one goal and missing on several other chances when they got behind the Mustang defense. The Spartans got their first goal at the 19:48 mark when Bucklew was left open for an instant at the top of the goalie box. Ryan Vang got the ball to Bucklew and he deposited the ball into the Mustang goal.
Later in the half the momentum began to slip away from the Spartans as Menomonie found ways to move the ball upfield quickly. Menomonie scored with 1:14 left in the first half after a collision between a Mustang player and Joppru left the ball rolling free near the goal line.
Menomonie took the lead 1:38 into the second half.
That lead didn’t last long. Bucklew took a pass from J.T. Karis and scored at 43:16 to tie the score.
Menomonie took a 3-2 lead with 10 minutes left in regulation, but the Spartans weren’t done yet. With three seconds left in the game, Meader scored off an assist from Bucklew to send the game into overtime. Menomonie scored in the second overtime to get the 4-3 win.
The schedule holds a game this Thursday for the Spartans at Cumberland. Next week will be a key stretch for the Spartans. On Monday they play at Amery and on Tuesday the Spartans host New Richmond. Amery and New Richmond are two of the top MBC programs and those games will measure whether the Spartans are ready to contend for an MBC title this season.