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Somerset girls soccer speeds toward peak success

Somerset senior Bailey Landry (10) works around a Washburn defender in the first half of the Spartans' 7-0 Senior Day victory. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

Speeding isn't illegal on the soccer field. And with the way the Somerset soccer team is now using its strong overall team speed, that's a good thing.

The Spartans put together two dominating performances in their games last week. In their last three games, the Spartans have now scored 23 goals.

With the two non-conference wins last week, the Spartans improved to 10-4-1 for the season. The week started with the Spartans defeating Altoona 10-0 last Tuesday at the Eau Claire Soccer Park. The Spartans faced a team with a highly defensive plan on Thursday, but they still managed a 7-0 win over Washburn-Bayfield. The Spartans are 8-2 in their last 10 games.

Thursday's win over Washburn was a unique challenge because Washburn played a large percentage of its girls in the defensive zone. That defensive tactic worked for 35 minutes. Then in the next eight minutes, the Spartans scored four times.

Anya Swanson scored the first goal, after a nice save along the end line by Anna Rybacki, who fed a pass to Swanson at the near post. Rybacki would score a minute later, before Hannah Waskosky scored twice to make the lead 4-0 heading into halftime.

The three Spartan goals in the second half also came in a cluster, started by Rybacki's second goal in the 73rd minute, off a feed from Leah Patterson.

In the 77th minute, the Spartans received a penalty kick in the goal box. Somerset coach Bill Roll called in senior goalkeeper Taylor Sporleder to take the shot. Sporleder answered, driving a shot into the lower corner of the net for her first varsity goal. Minutes later, Rybacki would complete Somerset's scoring.

The Spartans barely gave up a shot in either game last week. The coaches continue to adjust the team's lineup to take full advantage of the team's skill set. Bryanna Sengbusch was moved to stopper in recent games.

"She's hungry to go up and attack," Roll said.

With Sengbusch's move, the coaches were able to move Waskosky to defensive center mid. With her strong legs, she's a threat to deliver a shot from anywhere in the offensive half of the field. Roll estimated her first goal against Washburn as coming from 35 yards out.

The Spartans didn't have any trouble getting the offense started against Altoona, scoring their first three goals in the opening 5:22 of the game. The Spartans led 6-0 at halftime and reached the 10-goal limit at 61:46.

Rybacki led the offense with five goals and freshman Taylor Paulson scored three times. Patterson scored her first goal of the season and senior Bailey Landry scored her first varsity goal on a penalty kick.

The Spartans complete their regular season with games this Tuesday at Amery and Thursday at Barron. The WIAA seeding for this regional is scheduled for completion this Wednesday.

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 more than 30 years.

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