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Booters grab third seed in regional

The Wildcat boys soccer team won two of its last three regular season games and earned the third seed in the seven-team regional tournament which opens Thursday (Oct. 21) with the Cats hosting Menomonie at 3:30 p.m. at the high school field.

River Falls had to battle back from an early 1-0 deficit to defeat Menomonie 2-1 Oct. 7 on a pair of goals by Sam Galgowski.

Two days earlier, Galgowski scored two goals and AJ Sollom dished out two assists in a 5-0 win over Rice Lake. Jake Kurczek, Ryan Hartleben and Collin Trechter also scored goals in the win.

The Cats' latest effort, a 4-3 double overtime loss to Big Rivers Conference champion Eau Claire Memorial, may have provided just the momentum they need heading into the postseason. River Falls trailed early, 2-0, but stormed back to take a 3-2 lead only to have the Old Abes tie things up with nine minutes remaining and get the game winner with five minutes left in the second overtime.

"After the game I was disappointed, but never more proud of our team and their performance," head coach Kit Luedtke said. "It was the best game I have seen in quite some time."

After the Old Abes jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, Galgowski scored an unassisted goal at the 18 minute mark to cut the gap to 2-1. James Malaney followed with a left-footed shot to tie the score 2-2 at halftime.

"I was very pleased with the way the guys dug in and evened it back up," Luedtke said.

River Falls took a 3-2 lead four minutes into the second half on Galgowski's second goal of the game, assisted by Cameron Paulson. But the Old Abes forced overtime with the tying goal with nine minutes left in regulation.

"In the second half, we created numerous opportunities but we just couldn't finish," Luedtke said. "In the first overtime, the boys played very tough but we just couldn't find the net. Then, with five minutes left in the second overtime, the Abes broke through the defense and touched one in on the far side of the goal, giving them the win."

Luedtke said he's confident about his team's chances in the upcoming regional tournament.

"We know going into the playoffs that we can play with any team in the conference and give them a game," he said.

The winner of Thursday's contest between sixth-seeded Menomonie and No. 3 River Falls will play the either Chippewa Falls (No. 2) or Superior (No. 7) Saturday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. in Chippewa Falls.