Soccer team still looking for first win of the seasonOn Monday evening, the Superior High School boys soccer team battled the Proctor Rails. Superior was hungry for its first win of the season, but Proctor started out strong and went on to win 3-0.
On Monday evening, the Superior High School boys soccer team battled the Proctor Rails. Superior was hungry for its first win of the season, but Proctor started out strong and went on to win 3-0.
The loss drops the Spartans to 0-11 on the season and 0-5 in the LSC.
The Rails created several opportunities in the first moments of the game but the Spartan defense held them at bay. Once Superior got its composure, the Spartans dominated the game of play for much of the rest of the first half. However, as the half came to a close, the Rails converted a free kick into a goal to lead 1-0 at halftime.
“It was heartbreaking. You go out there and play so well and then in the last moments give up a goal, and it just took the wind out of our sails,” SHS coach Tom Bush said. “I was pretty upset about giving up that goal but hoped that we would respond to start the second half.”
The Spartans knew they had to come out strong in the second half to get back in the game but allowed Proctor to break through again. This time the Rails converted a corner kick just less than two minutes into the second half.
“To me that was the difference,” Bush said. “We left a man unmarked in the box and he made a nice goal. After that we never played the same.”
The Spartans couldn’t recover, eventually conceding a third goal that led to Proctor winning 3-0. Senior Kyle Ilenda continued to play well in goal for Superior.
“Kyle has worked so hard this season,” Bush said. “It’s hard to be the goalie on a team with our record. Most people think that these types of teams don’t have good goalies. But Kyle has played his heart out this season. He is one of our strongest players. At some point I believe he will be rewarded for it.”
The Spartan JV team battled to a 1-1 tie against Proctor. Superior’s JV team now holds a record of 2-6-1.
The Spartans hosted Hibbing on Tuesday evening.
The Spartan boys soccer team fell to 0-10 with a pair of losses at Saturday’s Hayward Quadrangular.
The Spartans lost to the host Hurricanes 4-1 and Ashland 5-2.
Against Hayward, Superior came out strong and controlled the ball for much of the first few minutes. But the Spartans missed a mark on a corner kick and Hayward converted for the early lead. The Hurricanes added a second goal to lead 2-0 at halftime.
Superior started the second half stronger and eventually broke through when Ethan Anderson scored with an assist from Brian Schmitt.
The Spartans played inspired ball for much of the rest of the game, but could not convert the opportunities into goals.
“It was really frustrating to see our guys play so well but not get on the scoreboard,” Bush said. “We made a few mental errors that led to defensive mistakes. Those opened the door for Hayward and they scored when they needed to. Offensively we were building the ball up the field well, but we just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Hayward added two more goals in the second half and held on for a comfortable 4-1 win.
In the other semifinal game, Northland Pines defeated Ashland 2-0 which set up a rematch for the Spartans with the Oredockers.
This was technically the third time the teams played this year. They battled to a scoreless tie in the Lake Superior Conference scrimmage and Ashland won 5-2 on Superior’s home field.
“We felt like this was a second chance to show we could compete with the Oredockers,” Bush said. “Our boys were excited to find out we would play Ashland, and it showed in the first five minutes.”
Superior controlled and dominated much of the game play to start. But once again the Spartans played true to their habits this year and gave up an early goal as Ashland scored on a corner kick just 12 minutes in. The score remained 1-0 through halftime.
“It was the same old story for us,” Bush said. “We have great chances to score but we just can’t convert. We made one mistake and our opponent took advantage.”
Ashland came out hard in the second half and scored just two minutes in to take a 2-0 lead.
“It has been said that games are won and lost in the first five minutes of a half, and that was true Saturday,” Bush said. “Thankfully we responded, but it just wasn’t enough.”
Just three minutes after giving up the second goal, the Spartans came with a pressuring attack that led to a penalty kick awarded to Jordan Britton, who converted the penalty kick to bring Superior back within 2-1 with 30 minutes remaining.
But Ashland held on strong and the Spartans were unable to convert on many opportunities, ending the game 2-1 in favor of Ashland.
“Again I give a lot of credit to Ashland,” Bush said. “Coach Cline has them very disciplined and they play with heart. They held on strong and played a great match. They are a classy team.”
The Spartans are have a busy week ahead of them with four games. They host Proctor today and Hibbing Tuesday. Then after play at Two Harbors on Thursday, Superior will host Rice Lake on Saturday.
In other SHS soccer action:
Osceola 7, Superior 2
On Spartans lost on the road on Sept. 4 despite getting off to a great start, controlling the midfield and creating opportunities.
Junior forward Brian Schmitt opened the scoring with his first goal of the season less than 10 minutes into the game. Schmitt dribbled through two defenders and launched a shot from 35 yards out that caught the Osceola goalie off guard to take the 1-0 lead.
Osceola came back with a goal about 20 minutes into the half to make the game 1-1. Unfortunately for the Spartans, the last five minutes of the half decided the game.
Osceola brought constant pressure and the Spartans made a few mental mistakes as the Chieftains scored three goals in a span of 2:06, leaving Superior trailing 4-1 at the half.
The Spartans fought hard to begin the second half and scored just three minutes in. Schmitt played a nice pass across the box to junior Ethan Walpole, who finished the play for his second goal of the season to make it a 4-2 game.
However, the Cheiftans continued to attack, scoring three more goals to finish the game 7-2.
Senior Kyle Ilenda was in goal for the Spartans. “In spite of the score, Kyle played a fantastic game and made several key saves,” Bush said.
The Superior JV also lost 6-0 to fall to 2-4.
The Spartans also lost at Hermantown 11-0 and Duluth Marshall 6-0, recently.
In JV action, Superior lost to Hermantown 6-0 and Marshall 4-3. Tyler Gravening and Refi Olson scored for the Spartans.