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Somerset soccer starts WIAA playoffs at home on Thursday

Senior Cassie Schmidt (5) is the leading scorer for the Spartans this season.

The Somerset girls soccer team has earned a home game to start the WIAA Division 3 regional tournament this Thursday. The Spartans earned the fourth seed in the regional bracket. They will host Osceola, the fifth seed, at 4 p.m. The two teams split the games they played this season.

The winner of Thursday’s game will play in the regional final on Saturday, at top-seeded Ashland. The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to the sectional semifinals, which will be played on Thursday, June 12.

The Spartans split their games last week. They went to Barron and used a five-goal storm in the second half to defeat the Bears, 6-3. On Friday, the Spartans traveled to Hayward to make up a recent postponement. The game was restarted at the point it was stopped, with Hayward holding a 1-0 lead in the middle of the first half. Neither team could score after the game was restarted, so Hayward got credit for a 1-0 win.

Somerset coach Erin Wilson-Gehring expressed disappointment that the game was restarted, instead of an entirely new game being played. She said that if the team had to make a second trip all the way to Hayward, they should have gotten to play a full game.

The Spartans have been shut out in four of their past six games. Wilson-Gehring said the Spartans can’t wait for one person to do their scoring. Senior Cassie Schmidt is the team’s leading scorer, but 10 girls have notched goals for the Spartans this season.

When the Spartans do score, the goals seem to come in bunches. In their six wins, the Spartans are averaging nearly four goals per win.

“If we get one goal, we usually follow it up,” Wilson-Gehring said. “We’re working on who can score the first one.”

That was the case in the win at Barron. The Bears scored the first goal of the game and it wasn’t until the 30th minute of the game that Somerset scored. Freshman Haley Barritt got that goal, her first career goal at the varsity level.

Once the second half started, the Spartans were unstoppable, scoring five unanswered goals. Elsie Shartin-Folkert gave the Spartans the lead, scoring out of a chaotic scramble in front of the net.

Mikayla Simon was next to score, redirecting the ball off a corner kick from Bailey Johnston. Johnston got the next goal, tapping in Shartin-Folkert’s pass that was rolling near the goal line.

Schmidt made the score 5-1 when she broke through the Barron defense. Simon finished the scoring with her second goal, where she took control of the ball at midfield and dribbled past the Barron defenders.

Barron scored two goals in the final minutes of the game after the Spartan coaches allowed the players to try playing in different positions.

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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