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Spartans hope to continue progress

Somerset senior Elliot Olin (11) works the ball upfield during last Thursday's battle with Baldwin-Woodville. Jeff Rybacki photo

Two of the best performances for the Somerset boys soccer team in the second half of the season came against Spooner and Amery.

And there's a good chance those would be the first two opponents for the Spartans in the WIAA Division 3 regional playoffs.

The Spartans were scheduled to play at home on Tuesday against Spooner. If the Spartans win that game, they would play at Amery on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 4 p.m.

Somerset's boys team finished the regular season with a 2-18-1 record. But there has been progress in the recent weeks. The Spartans defeated Spooner 3-1 on Oct. 2 and they held Amery to three goals in a 3-0 loss to the Middle Border Conference champions on Oct. 5.

The Spartans finished the regular season last week with losses to Barron and Baldwin-Woodville. On Tuesday, the Spartans lost 5-0 at Barron.

This game held a dubious distinction for the Spartans. In numbers unearthed by Somerset assistant coach Cody Waalen, it was discovered that Somerset goalkeeper Brennan Sheridan set a national record for the most saves in a season. He broke the record on his final save of the first half at Barron. Somerset coach Bill Roll said the boys found entertainment value in Sheridan's pursuit of the record, but it didn't set well with the coaches.

"It's great for Brennan, it shows he's doing his job," Roll said. "But the other guys shouldn't be proud."

Roll said he's more impressed with Sheridan's save percentage, which is around 86 percent, than he is with the quantity of shots he's faced.

Like many of the Spartans' losses, they were competitive deep into this game. The Spartans trailed 2-0 until midway through the second half.

That wasn't the case on Thursday however, when the Spartans hosted Baldwin-Woodville. The Blackhawks were fresh off their second loss of the season, a 6-2 defeat at the hands of New Richmond. The Blackhawks vented their wrath in an 8-1 defeat of the Spartans.

The only highlight for the Spartans was the first varsity goal scored by junior Eli DeJongh. The goal came in the 69th minute on a high-curving ball that found the corner of the Baldwin-Woodville net from a tough-angled shot.

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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