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Soccer: Tigers win title at Eau Claire North

Austin Bau (21) heads up the sideline to lead a New Richmond charge in the second half of the Tigers' win over Barron last Thursday. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

A busy week for the New Richmond boys soccer team resulted in four wins and a tie, but it's the game where they tied that the Tigers would have most liked to get a win.

The Tigers played at Baldwin-Woodville last Monday, with both teams needing a win to keep their chances for a Middle Border Conference championship alive. Instead, both teams went home wet, cold and unhappy after the game ended in a 2-2 draw.

Phillip Neblich scored just before halftime for the Tigers' opening goal, giving the Tigers a 1-0 advantage at halftime. AJ Johnson scored in the 55th minute, just after B-W tied the game at 1-1. But B-W scored two minutes after Johnson's goal and that was the extent of the scoring.

"Both teams had lots of chances," said Tiger coach Darian Blattner. "(The final result) didn't help either one of us."

The Tigers had a hectic weekend, playing four games in a three-day span. It's part of a hectic past two weeks for the Tigers, playing 11 games in a 15-day span.

On Thursday the Tigers hosted Barron. Most of the game seemed to be played in the midfield as both team's concentrated on their defensive efforts. The Tigers rode a pair of goals from senior Tyler Blattner to a 2-0 conference victory.

The offense kicked into high gear on Friday. New Richmond and St. Paul Academy have played some epic battles in the recent years, but this one was no contest. The Tigers rolled to a 7-0 victory.

Blattner played one of his best games, finishing with three goals and two assists. Johnson scored a pair of goals, with Quin Schlicht and Chase Richards both scoring once.

"The (ball) possession part was really big. We were able to maneuver through them and the weather," Coach Blattner said of the win in cold and wet conditions.

The week culminated with the Tigers winning the championship at the Eau Claire North tournament on Saturday. The Tigers opened the tournament by burying Arcadia, 7-0. Johnson scored three times, with Blattner, Richards, Jack Stuedemann and Andy Boerjan each scoring once.

In the finals, New Richmond faced La Crosse Central, a team in the Tigers' Division 2 sectional tournament bracket. The Tigers further helped their tournament seeding situation by beating Central 6-1. Johnson scored three of the goals, with Schlicht, Richards and Blattner each scoring once.

The Tigers are now 4-0 against teams in the sectional bracket, with wins over Central, River Falls, Holmen and Onalaska.

The Tigers finish their MBC schedule this Thursday when they play at Cumberland. The regular season concludes for the Tigers on Saturday when they host Eau Claire Memorial at 11 a.m.

That leads into the WIAA tournament seeding, which is scheduled for Sunday. Regional tournaments are scheduled to be played next Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

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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