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New Richmond soccer remains in goal drought

Tiger senior Kaycie Anderson (18) fires a shot during the first half of last Thursday's game against Amery.

While there's been rain everywhere this spring, the New Richmond girls soccer team is entangled in a drought.

The Tiger girls were held scoreless in their four games last week as they remain winless for the 2013 season. The Tigers have scored five goals in their 10 games.

Opponents aren't blowing out the Tigers. They lost Middle Border Conference games last week to Somerset and Amery, both by 2-0 scores. On Friday the Tigers faced Big Rivers Conference leader River Falls. That game was scoreless through the first half, before the Wildcats pulled away for a 3-0 victory.

The lack of scoring has led to frustration for the Tigers and their coaches. The coaches are hoping this week, when they have four practices, they can make some changes that will benefit the offense.

"We've had more games than practices, so we don't have much time to teach things," said Tiger coach Steve Tesar. "We're not playing badly, we're just not finishing."

Tesar said the Tigers are in need of one or two breaks to get the season turned around. He used the loss at Somerset as an example. The first goal of the game came after an exceptional save by Tiger goalie Caty Brayall on a hard Somerset shot. The ball deflected 20-30 feet away, to a Somerset player who was alone and was able to put a quick shot in the net.

The offense isn't far from being productive, Tesar insists. He said Tina Montpetit and Kaycie Anderson are proven players who are putting the ball in good scoring position. He said Abbie Vizenor also delivered several nice through balls last week.

The Tigers trailed Amery 1-0 at half as well and the Warriors' opening score was on a shot from 30 yards out that found the upper corner of the goal.

The defense was rock solid all week, but never more than in Friday's game at River Falls. The Wildcats are expected to draw the top seed in the sectional tournament bracket seeding that will be held this Wednesday. The Tigers seem to find inspiration in facing former New Richmond coach Charles Conley. In each of the past three meetings the Tigers have faced Conley's Wildcats, they've kept River Falls off the scoreboard.

The Wildcats didn't score until the 50th minute of Friday's game, and that goal came when the wet ball glanced off a Tiger defender into the goal. The Wildcats scored again five minutes later, before getting their final goal on a penalty kick in the last two minutes of the game.

The Tigers are scheduled to complete their regular season next Tuesday with a home game against Spooner. The WIAA sectional tournament games will begin two days later.