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Soccer: Spartans get even younger

Somerset goalkeeper Brennan Sheridan launches a pass upfield after making one of his 45 saves Sept. 7 against Barron. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

The young Somerset boys soccer team got even younger last week.

The Spartans dropped to 1-7 with losses last week against Amery and Barron. Amery defeated the Spartans 10-0 on Sept. 5 and Barron won on Somerset's field Sept. 7, 5-1.

The loss at Amery was the fifth time the Spartans have been shutout this season. Somerset coach Bill Roll came away from the game impressed with the Warriors.

"They're good. They're the best team in the conference," Roll said.

Amery's Galen Coy was problematic for the Spartans, scoring four of the first six goals and assisting on another.

The Spartan coaches had to do some quick improvising when they found out the night before the game that junior sweeper AJ Beasley had decided to leave the team. Roll said Beasley wanted to concentrate on a youth options class he is taking at UW-River Falls and on his fall baseball schedule.

Senior Nathan Dirkes was moved to the sweeper position for the Amery game. Dirkes was injured during the game and sophomore Ben Rybacki moved into the position. Rybacki was the team's sweeper the rest of the week and it may be his job for good.

"I thought he played quite well against Barron," Roll said. "He'll work hard to do what we need him to do."

Rybacki's shift led to other position changes. Erik Osorio was moved to outside mid, with Aaron Shartin-Folkert moving to the midfield. Roll said Osorio and Shartin-Folkert will give the team good mobility in the center of the field.

The Spartans played evenly with Barron for much of the game. Barron scored first, but Somerset got the tying goal from senior James Clute. Clute got one past a Barron defender initially, before two more converged. His move with the ball caused them to collide and he went in and beat the keeper for the goal.

The score was still 2-1 midway through the second half, before Barron took advantage of a few defensive mistakes to get three quick goals.

Somerset keeper Brennan Sheridan has been busy all season, but this was his busiest game. He made 45 saves in the game. Roll said the Spartans did well at forcing most of the shots to be from beyond 10 yards out, so Sheridan had at least an instant to react to them.

The Spartans have three games scheduled for the upcoming five days. That stretch starts with a game at Cumberland on Thursday, Sept. 14. The Spartans will be home to face Washburn on Friday, Sept. 15. The Spartans also play at home Monday, Sept. 18, with Hayward as the visitor.

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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