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New Richmond places seven on All-MBC girls soccer team

Senior Sophie Thommes (18) led the New Richmond defensive squad with determination and quick thinking.

The New Richmond and Somerset girls soccer teams ranked among the top teams in the Middle Border Conference in 2017. That success was reflected in the All-MBC voting, where New Richmond had seven players honored and Somerset had five players draw honors.

The top honor in the conference went to New Richmond senior forward Lexi Brown. She was named as the Middle Border Conference Most Valuable Player.

New Richmond coach Tracey Boyle was also recognized for her work. The third-year head coach was named the MBC Coach of the Year.

New Richmond

The Tigers’ three senior captains were all named as first team All-MBC choices. Brown, Reese Jacobson and Sophie Thommes were the first team selections. Tigers who were selected for the second team include Alli Preece, Amanda Johnson, Amelia Feuerer and Audrey Feuerer.

The three captains formed the heart of the Tigers’ success this season. Brown was the Tigers’ offensive leader. She became the player opposing teams had to stop, but that didn’t deter her success. She was a potent goal scorer, but she was equally a threat with her passing.

Jacobson seemed to be everywhere on her side of the field as one of the Tigers’ outside midfielders. One moment, she’d be part of a scoring attempt by the Tigers. The next moment, she’d be at the opposite end of the field, helping to stop an opponent’s scoring threat. Her boundless energy set the standard for outside mids.

Thommes has been the hub of the Tigers’ defense for several seasons. Her quick thinking and decisive play prevented many charges made by opponents from ever getting near the Tiger goal.

The four second team Tigers are all slated to return to the team next season. Preece, a junior, recovered from a major knee injury to become a key member of the Tiger

defensive unit.

Johnson, a sophomore, is a strong, quick, defensive- minded midfielder. She was good at keeping the ball in the offensive zone so the offense could have prolonged attacks.

The Feuerer sisters made impacts at opposite ends of the field. Amelia, a sophomore, joined Brown as the team’s leading scorers from their forward positions. Audrey, a freshman, became an instant force with her addition to the defense this season.

Boyle was honored for steering the Tigers to the team’s first-ever conference championship. The Tigers also reached the WIAA sectional tournament for the first time and finished with the best record in team history at 18-1-1.

Somerset

The fact Somerset placed three girls on the All-MBC first team is a clear indication of the progress the team made this season. The Spartans had the best season in team history, finishing 11-6-2. This is the first time Somerset placed three girls on the All-MBC first team.

All three of Somerset’s first team selections are juniors. Anna Rybacki was named at forward, Anya Swanson at midfield and Hannah Waskosky at defense. Rybacki ranked among the leading scorers in the MBC this season with 24 goals and 12 assists. Rybacki has exceptional speed, and she worked to refine her skills this season.

“We asked her to play a different style and she bought right in,” said Somerset coach Bill Roll. “Her shot placement has improved. Her foot skills get overlooked.”

One of the changes that paid major dividends for the Spartans was moving Swanson up to be part of the offensive attack. She finished second on the team with six goals and 12 assists.

“At midfield, we capitalize on her superior endurance,” Roll said. “She and Anna had a good rapport. Anya has a good sense of where to be and where other people will be.”

Another move that paid off was getting Waskosky to the middle of the field. With her strength and aggressive mentality, she helped the Spartans make quick transitions from defense to offense.

“She’s a more offensive-minded defender,” Roll said. “She’s rangy. Girls have a tough time getting around her.”

Spartan goalkeeper Taylor Sporleder earned second team All-MBC recognition, finishing the season stopping 87 percent of the shots she faced. She recorded nine shutouts during the season. And she played the season with a torn labrum in her shoulder, an injury suffered during the basketball season.

“She figured out ways to cope with (the injury),” Roll said. “She stepped up a lot this year.”

Junior Hannah Meyer received honorable mention all-conference status. Meyer was an outside defender for the Spartans, but she was used as a specialized defender several times, shadowing an opponent’s top scorer.

“She’s physical, aggressive and she’s super competitive,” Roll said.

All five Spartans who received all-conference honors are juniors.

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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