New Richmond soccer learns from facing one of Minnesota's best teams”New Richmond Academy?”
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
”New Richmond Academy?”
The New Richmond boys soccer team was so impressed by playing Prairie Seeds Academy, one of the top programs in Minnesota last Friday, that Tiger players joked they should change their own team’s name.
The Tigers lost to PSA 7-2, but the true impact of the game wasn’t seen until the next morning. On Saturday the Tigers hosted Menomonie. With barely 12 hours between games, it would have been easy for the Tigers to play with little gusto on Saturday. Instead, they rolled up a 5-0 lead in dominating the Mustangs. Menomonie scored twice in the final minutes against the Tiger reserves to make the final score 5-2.
“The boys said ‘let’s play like Prairie Seeds played us.’ They knocked the ball around and looked really good,” said Tiger coach Pete Melloy.
The Tigers didn’t find their peak energy level until the second half on Saturday. They led 1-0 at halftime, with senior Eric Miller notching the only goal of the half on a penalty kick at the 16:19 mark.
The Tigers scored three times in the first 13 minutes of the second half to pull away. Senior Aaron Daul got the first of those goals, off an assist from Joey Turnipseed. The rest of the half was a showcase of Miller’s exceptional soccer skills. He scored the Tigers’ next three goals. One came on a penalty kick and another when he made a pretty cut to the goal, splitting a pair of Mustang defenders.
The third goal showed how rare Miller’s skills are. On a high-arcing corner kick toward the goal, Miller leaped into the air with his back to the goal. With the perfectly timed leap, Miller used the back of his head to drive the ball past the Menomonie keeper and into the net.
“It was an amazing goal,” Melloy said.
Travelling to Brooklyn Park to play Prairie Seeds Academy was a new experience for many of the Tigers. Prairie Seeds is one of the top programs in Minnesota, winning the Class A state championship in 2010.
Friday’s game was scoreless for 17 minutes. Prairie Seeds scored three times in the final 10 minutes of the first half to build a 4-0 lead. After Prairie Seeds built a 7-0 lead, the Tigers were able to score twice in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Jack Hop scored the first goal and Joey Turnipseed netted the second. Both came off assists from Shane Blackman.
Big MBC win
Last Tuesday the Tigers scored a critical Middle Border Conference win, though it wasn’t a game that will stand out as a prime example of the Tigers’ play. The Tigers were able to beat Barron 3-2, delivering the Bears’ first loss in conference play this season. This put Barron and New Richmond into a tie for second place in the MBC standings with 12 points.
Barron has been a stingy defensive team this season, which includes 0-0 ties with Amery and Somerset.
Barron got a quick jump on the Tigers, scoring off a counter attack four minutes into the game. The Tigers tied the game in the 25th minute. Brad Brusewitz sent a corner kick to the front of the night. Jake Taubman ran into the ball, driving it into the goal with his hip.
The Tigers scored off a free kick at the 32:32 mark. Miller took the kick, driving a rocket toward the goal. The Barron keeper was in position to make a play on the ball, but Hop stepped in front of him. Hop used his head to steer the shot in a different angle where the goalie couldn’t prevent it from going into the net.
Barron tied the game in the 47th minute, getting behind the Tiger defense for a breakaway.
The Tiger offense was sluggish much of the game and it slowed even further for the next 20 minutes. It wasn’t until the 71st minute that the Tigers got the game-winner. The ball got into a mass of bodies in front of the Barron goal. Miller had a shot blocked and the ball rolled to Joey Turnipseed who was dead center in front of the goal. He wasted no time firing a shot that hit the crossbar and bounded down, just inside the goal line for the goal.
Melloy was less than subtle about what he thought of the Tigers’ showing.
“I thought we played lousy, but I’m guessing Barron had something to do with that,” he said.
A big part of the Tigers’ problem was a lack of movement. Players weren’t moving without the ball, leaving the player with the ball no open targets to pass to.
Win at Spooner
After a bit of a turbulent start, the Tigers rolled to a 9-1 win at Spooner in an MBC game on Monday.
Spooner scored off a penalty kick three minutes into the game. The Tigers didn’t take the lead until Luke Landaal scored a pair of goals in the 26th and 29th minute.
Miller led the Tigers with four goals in the game. Landaal scored three times and Mitch Giannini and Turnipseed both scored once.
Two home games are next up on the schedule for the Tigers. The Tigers will host Hayward on Thursday and Baldwin-Woodville next Tuesday. Both games start at 4:30 p.m.