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Somerset soccer team gets in first game

When word got out that the Rice Lake artificial turf field was being made available for games, a number of soccer teams tried to get in on the opportunity. The Somerset and Baldwin-Woodville girls were two teams that were able to get a game scheduled late on Saturday, the first game of the season for both teams.

Baldwin-Woodville was able to get the edge on the Spartans, finishing with a 3-1 win.

The Spartans fielded a young lineup, with five starters playing in their first varsity game. Spartan coach Erin Wilson said the game was a badly needed learning experience.

"We needed to shake out the nerves and get re-acclimated. The progress from the start (of the game) to the 60-minute mark was humongous," Wilson said.

With three seniors and three juniors returning to the starting lineup, Wilson said she sees a good mix with the team. She said the seniors are leading the team. She said the team has dealt well with having to spend so much practice time indoors. The team has been able to get outdoors, but just for brief stretches.

"It's been a really hard spring," Wilson said.

Wilson said all three Baldwin-Woodville goals were off correctable communication issues as the Spartans worked out the bugs in their positioning.

"The first 15-20 minutes were really adjustment and getting back into the swing of things," she said.

Somerset got its goal 60 minutes into the game. The Blackhawk goalkeeper couldn't control the slippery ball as it hit a patch of slush in front of the net. Spartan senior Jade Buchanan stepped in to grab control of the ball, steered it around the keeper and into the net.

This game will not count as a Middle Border Conference game. Because so few games have been played in the first half of the season, it has been decided that only the second round of MBC games will count toward this year's conference standings. The second round of MBC action begins next Tuesday, when the Spartans are scheduled to play at Hayward.

The schedule over the next few weeks will involve some improvisation, based on which school's field is in the best condition. Wilson said the Spartans may play some of their first games on their practice field because it seems to be drying more quickly than the varsity field.

The Spartans are scheduled to play at home this Thursday against Osceola before facing Hayward next Tuesday.