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New Richmond soccer wins first of its conference showdowns

New Richmond's Brad Brusewitz (13) battles a Baldwin-Woodville player for control of the ball in last Tuesday's game. Brusewitz has become a highly reliable defender for the Tigers.

The schedule maker for the Middle Border Conference laid out three straight critical games for the New Richmond boys soccer team this week in the Tigers' hopes of winning the 2012 conference title.

The Tigers handled the first of those three assignments like...tigers. They pounced on Somerset from the opening kick and devoured the Spartans in the first half. New Richmond concentrated on defense in the second half in winning 3-0.

The second of the MBC assignments for the Tigers was scheduled for Tuesday at Amery. If the Tigers won at Amery, they would be in great position to finish as conference champions. A loss or tie at Amery puts greater meaning on this Thursday's game, when the Tigers play at Barron. The Bears are currently third in the MBC standings.

The Tigers will finish their MBC schedule on Thursday, Oct. 4, with a home game against Spooner. The Tigers have two non-conference games before then. They host Hudson on Saturday and they play at St. Paul Academy next Tuesday.

New Richmond's win on Monday was the result of the Tigers playing a fierce style from the opening kick. The Tigers had a goal waved off 28 seconds into the game, but the message had already been sent that the Tigers were totally committed. The Tigers were unrelenting in their pressure and the goals happened quickly.

Junior Shane Blackman scored the first Tiger goal at the 6:32 mark. A pass found Blackman uncovered 15 yards from the goal. Blackman one-timed a shot into the lower left corner of the net.

Exceptional passing kept resulting in good scoring chances for the Tigers. At the 11:34 mark Eric Miller scored the second NR goal. Cole Olson sent a pass from the goal line to the front of the net, where Miller was able to run onto the ball for the easy shot.

That formula worked again five minutes later. This time it was Joey Turnipseed who made the pass from the deep right side to the front of the goal. Aaron Daul was left alone in front of the net and had an easy tap-in for the goal.

Somerset could not get the ball out of its defensive zone in the first half. In the second half, Tiger coach Pete Melloy went to a different formation. This formation was something he wanted to try in case the Tigers need to protect leads in the future. The Tigers gave up a couple point-blank scoring chances in the second half, but goalkeeper Logan Dadez made several impressive stops to keep the shutout intact.

The win over Somerset was the fourth straight shutout for the Tigers in conference play. Last Thursday they shutout Cumberland 1-0 and two days earlier they defeated Baldwin-Woodville 5-0.

The win at Cumberland won't be going on the Tiger highlight reel. Cumberland has significantly improved, the Tigers couldn't accomplish much on offense. The only goal of the game came when Miller scored on a penalty kick at the 41:10 mark.

In the win over Baldwin-Woodville, the Tigers were looking for a faster start and they produced one. They led 3-0 at halftime and thoroughly controlled the tempo of the game.

Miller scored twice in the first half and Josh Geigle, Luke Landaal and Jack Hop also scored for the Tigers.

The Tigers also scored a win in a non-conference game on Saturday, defeating Superior 3-1. Miller scored twice in the win and Turnipseed netted one goal.

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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