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Somerset girls soccer earns first MBC point

Somerset sophomore Paityn Deal (4) takes control of the ball at midfield during the Spartans’ game against Ashland last week.

The Somerset soccer team is trying to find where it fits within the Middle Border Conference.

The Spartans started their MBC schedule last Thursday, facing Baldwin-Woodville, which is expected to be one of the more improved teams in the conference this season. The Blackhawks showed they were ready to make that step up, posting a 5-0 win against the Spartans.

On Friday, the Spartans earned their first conference point when they finished in a 1-1 tie with Osceola.

Somerset got the only goal of the first half in Friday’s game, thanks to a quick transition from defense to offense. Spartan goalie Liz Jacobson stopped an Osceola shot and she quickly punted the ball upfield to senior Mikayla Simon. Simon was able to dribble the ball the length of the field, slipping a shot inside the near post for the Spartans’ first goal of the season.

The first half was encouraging because of the pace at which the Spartans played and their ability to possess the ball.

“We definitely had the upper hand and had many other goal scoring opportunities but just couldn’t find the back of the net,” said Somerset coach Erin Wilson-Gehring.

The Spartans continued to have the upper hand in ball control for most of the second half, but the Spartans were called for a hand ball infraction in the goalie box late in the second half. Osceola was able to convert on the penalty kick to tie the game.

The two teams played through the two 10-minute overtime periods without scoring, though both teams did manage several decent chances to score.

The Spartan coaches were encouraged in the team’s upswing in play between the two MBC games last week.

“It was a step in the right direction for us, we fell into our positions much better and started to play together as a team,” Wilson-Gehring said.

The loss last Tuesday to Baldwin-Woodville brought out the Spartans’ inexperience and their need for better organization on defense.

“We really could not fall into our places. We were over playing in certain positions and not playing at all in others. We struggled to spread out and we just couldn’t get into our comfort zone,” said Wilson-Gehring.

The Spartans are in a busy stretch of their schedule. They will play at home this Thursday against Amery. The Spartans start next week with a game at Hayward on Monday, before hosting New Richmond next Tuesday.

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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