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Offense shuts down; New Richmond boys soccer eliminated

A Menomonie defender (17) has a firm grip on the jersey of New Richmond senior Eric Miller (right) as they battle for the ball in last Tuesday's game.

The hopes for a lengthy run in the WIAA Division 1 playoffs didn't pan out for the New Richmond boys soccer team this fall.

The Tigers, seeded seventh in the WIAA sectional bracket, were upset by Menomonie 1-0 in the opening round of tournament play last Tuesday. Menomonie was eliminated from the playoffs last Thursday in a 4-0 loss to Hudson.

New Richmond ends the season with a 16-8 record. 

The loss to Menomonie was the third time the Tigers have been shut out this season. The Tigers have earned a reputation as a potent offensive team, but Menomonie's concentration on defense took the Tigers out of their game. Menomonie kept four defensive players deep at all times and the Mustangs had one player shadowing Tiger leading scorer Eric Miller whenever New Richmond had the ball.

"Menomonie pressured us and we gave the ball away," said Tiger coach Pete Melloy. "There was too much panicking when we got the ball."

Melloy substituted frequently in hopes of finding a lineup that could create a spark.

The game remained scoreless until midway through the second half. Menomonie's leading scorer intercepted a Tiger pass and went in to score on a breakaway. The Tigers played with more desperation after that score, but never could find a way to get the tying goal.