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Somerset soccer facing busy final week of regular season

Somerset junior Kaine Lee (7) battles Amery's Nick Erickson for control of the ball during Thursday's game at Somerset. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

Anyone wanting to know how well the Somerset soccer team can play defensively needed to witness the Spartans' game against Amery last Thursday.

The high-scoring Amery squad was held to one goal in the first half and that came on a penalty kick. The Spartans tried to maintain that defensive energy into the second half. They had one 15-minute stretch where the energy waned, and Amery scored five times in that stretch to defeat the Spartans 6-0. The win left Amery with a 12-0-4 record this season, while Somerset stands at 8-9.

"It's a little frustrating that the score ended up like that because we played so well in the first half," said Somerset coach Bill Roll.

Amery was pushing forward with nearly every player in the offensive half of the field. The Warriors put heavy pressure on the Somerset defense and right away, the Spartans responded. The Spartans stayed organized on defense, giving Amery very few open looks at the goal. And when Amery was able to get a shot away, Somerset keeper Devin Fullerton was at the top of his game, stopping the shots.

"Devin played really well in the first half," Roll said.

Amery got the only goal of the first period on a penalty kick with 10 minutes remaining in the half.

With Amery putting on such intense pressure, the Spartans didn't get many scoring chances. They did have one in the first 10 minutes were a Spartan shot clanged off the crossbar.

The Spartans had that type of offensive dominance when they hosted Spooner last Monday in the Spartans' Senior Night game. The Spartans rolled to a 6-0 win over the Rails.

The game opened with the Spartans playing at a high intensity level for the first 20 minutes. Spooner then started matching the Spartans' pace. The first half ended 1-0, with Aaron Shartin-Folkert getting the only goal of the half.

After a rather blunt one-sided discussion with the coaches at halftime, the Spartans played the second half with a renewed energy. Shartin-Folkert scored again and Erik Osorio and Logan Giossi both scored twice as the Spartans put the game away in the second half.

"We started connecting on passes and we were able to get behind their defense," Roll said of the second half goal eruption.

The Spartans face a big week, not only in the Middle Border Conference standings, but in possible WIAA seeding. This is the final week of the regular season. For the Spartans it starts with home games Tuesday against Barron and Thursday against Baldwin-Woodville. The regular season ends with a game at Washburn on Friday.

The Spartans will find out their WIAA tournament fate this weekend. Roll said Baldwin-Woodville and Rice Lake are likely to get the top two spots in the Division 3 regional tournament bracket. He said he thinks the Spartans could get the third seed in the regional bracket.

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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