SHS soccer falls at Cloquet
The Superior High School boys soccer team fell to 0-5 on the season with losses to New Richmond and Cloquet, Saturday and Monday, respectively. The Spartans lost 3-1 to the New Richmond Tigers on a cold and windy day Saturday at the SHS soccer fi...
The Superior High School boys soccer team fell to 0-5 on the season with losses to New Richmond and Cloquet, Saturday and Monday, respectively.
The Spartans lost 3-1 to the New Richmond Tigers on a cold and windy day Saturday at the SHS soccer fields. Even though the weather was much improved Monday at Cloquet, the results weren't much better as Superior lost 3-0.
On Saturday, New Richmond struck first with about five minutes remaining in the half and held a 1-0 halftime lead.
"I was just happy we played an even first half," SHS coach Tom Bush said. "In all of our previous games this season we have really struggled coming out of the gate. Thankfully, the boys came out strong.
"We just need to finish our opportunities. We had several chances but just couldn't put the ball away."
The Spartans finally broke through in the second half and tied the game 1-1 on a chip shot over the New Richmond goalie by senior Justin Cannon.
"At that point I felt we had changed the momentum," Bush said. "I thought for sure that we were going to strike again and get our first victory."
Unfortunately, just minutes later Superior was called for a foul in the box and New Richmond converted the penalty shot to take the lead back.
"It was a good call," Bush said. "Our defense always plays physical and sometimes that can hurt us. The referees have to protect the player with the ball and it was a fair call. That really took the wind out of us and changed the game."
The Spartans lost their composure and only two minutes later gave up another goal on a cross and header by the Tigers.
The Spartans finished the game strong, pushing the ball up the field for opportunities. They came close to scoring on a corner kick by junior Brian Schmitt, but the ball bounced around in front of the goal box and finally was shot over the cross bar.
The Spartans continued to push but ran out of time, falling to the Tigers 3-1.
"It's a frustrating way to start the season. I feel like we've competed in every game, we just are struggling to convert. We also have had some bad luck. But I'm hopeful that we can turn it around."
The Lumberjacks took a 1-0 lead 15 minutes into Monday's game at Cloquet.
Just moments later it looked as though the Spartans were breaking down again as the defense was called for a foul in the box and a penalty kick was awarded to Cloquet.
However, senior goalkeeper Kyle Ilenda made a save to keep the game at 1-0.
"I was really proud of our defensemen" Bush said. "They responded well after Kyle made that save. That was a game changing moment. If that goal goes in, it may have been a different game.
"We've been struggling when we lose the momentum. The team really responded and played great the rest of the first half."
Cloquet scored two quick breakaway goals within a few minutes of each other to take a 3-0 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Junior midfielder Ethan Anderson and senior midfielder Cannon performed well for Superior in the loss. "Ethan's really played well the last two games. He's been a reliable and solid player in our midfield," Bush said.
The Spartans are at Osceola at 5 p.m. Friday.
SPARTAN SPIN: The SHS JV (2-3) lost 4-1 to Cloquet with Refi Olson scoring the lone Spartan goal. ... The SHS JV defeated New Richmond 2-1. Dylan Semborski and Cameron Gray had goals. Gray scored in the first half to tie the game 1-1 and Semborski scored the game-winner with three minutes remaining in the game. The JV's other win was 2-1 over Ashland.