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Booters blank Chippewa; fall to Hudson on late goal

Wildcat freshman Sierra Becker(20) looks to control the ball in the Cats' defensive zone in the first half of the team's 4-3 loss to Hudson Thursday night in Hudson. Bob Burrows photo

Two nights after shutting out one of the favorites to win the Big Rivers Conference this season, the Wildcat girls' soccer team suffered its first loss of the season at Hudson in the Raiders' home opener under the lights.

The Cats blanked Chippewa Falls, 2-0, on Tuesday before a late Hudson goal snapped a 3-3 tie and kept the Raiders undefeated at 3-0 overall, 2-0 in the BRC. River Falls slipped to 2-1 overall, 1-1 in conference play.

The Wildcats hosted Eau Claire Memorial Tuesday and will host Superior, New Richmond and Somerset at the River Falls Quad Saturday with action getting underway at 10 a.m. Monday they will host Amery in a 5 p.m. nonconference contest before returning to BRC competition Thursday, April 23, at home against Rice Lake.

Last Tuesday at Chippewa Falls, Katie Berndt and Sarah Vitale accounted for the Wildcat goals with Ashley Brown and Tara Frey earning assists as the Cats handed the Cardinals their first loss of the season, 2-0.

"It was a very hard fought game and well played on both sides," Wildcat head coach Steph Nelson said. "Chippewa Falls is a very quality team."

Wildcat goalkeeper Madde Bump made five saves to post the shutout victory.

Thursday under the lights at the Hudson Middle School field, Vitale recorded a hat trick to account for all three River Falls' goals, but the Raiders' Katy Schulte scored off a corner kick with three minutes remaining to lift Hudson to a 4-3 win.

Hudson took a 1-0 lead less than two minutes in on a goal by Megan Claflin before Vitale tied the score, with an assist from Sarah Bugar, at the 10-minute mark.

Vitale scored an unassisted goal off a breakaway with 11:23 remaining in the first half to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead, but Hudson tied it on a goal by Ashley Iverson with under a minute remaining in the half.

Hudson's Mckenzie Buck gave the Raiders a 3-2 lead with 18 minutes remaining in the game before Vitale scored her third goal, assisted by Brown, to tie the score again. Hudson won it when Schulte scored off a corner kick with three minutes remaining.

Bump had six saves in the game. Nelson also credited freshman Bailey LaPoint with playing a solid game defensively.

"As a whole, we made some mistakes that cost us, but it's early in the season and not every team is perfect," Nelson said. "So we'll work hard on correcting our mistakes and come back strong on Tuesday when we host Eau Claire Memorial."