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NR soccer team ends up fifth in Minn. state tourney

The New Richmond boys 13 and under soccer team ended up taking fifth place in the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association 2004 Chevy Cup State Tournament.

The team is composed of 18 boys from New Richmond, Somerset and Star Prairie and is the only team from Wisconsin that plays league games against teams from the eastern Twin Cities metro area.

This weekend the Tigers faced Coon Rapids in their opening game. The previous weekend the Tigers had already played one game in the state tournament, tying Edina 2-2.

Coon Rapids and New Richmond locked into an excellent game Friday, with the New Richmond boys playing some of their finest soccer of the season against their undefeated opponent.

The Tigers kept the ball pinned in Coon Rapids' zone for the first 10 minutes of the game, getting several excellent scoring chances. Cody Simpson made those efforts pay off, beating the Coon Rapids goalie for the first goal fo the game.

In the second half New Richmond kept up the relentless pressure. Andrew Steffen scored off passes from Jordan Greene and Jon Keller to put New Richmond ahead 2-0, which is where the final score ended.

This put New Richmond into a tie with Edina with 13 tournament points. New Richmond then had to face New Ulm on Saturday, with the third round games to decide which team from this pool would advance to the championship game.

The New Richmond boys couldn't bounce back with the same inspiring effort they'd shown in knocking off Coon Rapids. New Ulm's leading scorer raced through the New Richmond defense twice in the early stages of the first period to give his team a 2-0 lead. New Ulm scored again late in the first period.

New Richmond scored early in the second period when Simpson scored. New Richmond had a chance to cut the margin to one goal shortly after on a penalty kick, but wasn't able to convert. From there, New Ulm put up a big defensive effort to keep the New Richmond boys away from the goal, allowing New Ulm to finish with a 3-1 win.

Edina won its game in Saturday's round, putting Edina in the tournament championship game against Albert Lea. It was Albert Lea that won the state title, beatin Edina 3-0.

Based on the points system, New Richmond ended up fifth among the eight teams in the final state tournament rankings.

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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