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Spartan soccer team collapses in final LSC matches

The Superior High School boys soccer team wrapped up Lake Superior Conference matches this week with a 5-0 loss at Duluth Denfeld on Tuesday and at Ashland 2-0 Thursday.

The Superior High School boys soccer team wrapped up Lake Superior Conference matches this week with a 5-0 loss at Duluth Denfeld on Tuesday and at Ashland 2-0 Thursday.

Tuesday night at Public Schools Stadium, the Spartans and Hunters played in a steady downpour that failed to dampen the spirit of the Hunters.

Senior forward Jesse Merrill opened up the scoring for Denfeld in the fifth minute. Merrill scored two more for the Hunters breaking a school scoring record in the process.

At the half the Spartans were only down 2-0, but the rain and lack of momentum kept them from seriously troubling the Hunters.

SHS senior keeper Matt Peterson finished the game with four saves, while Josh Jurek would make six for the Hunters.

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Thursday's match in Ashland was dry and warm, but the improved weather did little to help the Spartans.

Ashland's Chris Kyrola knocked home the first goal of the game in the 27th minute after a poorly defended direct kick from the Spartan flank in their defensive end.

The Spartans opened the second half with sustained pressure and momentum, but failed to finish any balls into the back of the net.

Ashland's Bruno Lopez converted a direct kick past sophomore keeper Kyle Illenda in the 68th minute, effectively putting the match out of reach.

Frustration and poor challenges plagued the Spartans for the rest of the game as Andrew Mattson, Corey Wilander, Matt Bouvine and Chris Peterson each earned yellow cards in three separate incidents during the second half.

Peterson had six saves in the first half and Illenda finished the half with three to a game total of 13 for Ashland.

"This week so far has been a total collapse," SHS coach Aaron Ashley said. "It's disappointing because we really worked hard to fix some problems early in the season, but we've come full circle back to that first week.

"There's been a lot of grumbling about the last two games among the players, bottom line is without scoring, we don't have anything to complain about or anyone else to blame."

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The Spartans, 8-10 overall and 2-6 in the LSC, travel to Chippewa Falls for a doubleheader on Saturday.

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