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Soccer streaks to 5 straight wins

The Wildcat boys' soccer team put together a perfect 5-0 week that included a pair of Big Rivers Conference victories as well as a championship at the La Crosse Logan Quad.

The Wildcats, now 8-5 overall, 4-3 in the BRC, will host Chippewa Falls this Thursday at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, they host Hudson, also at 5 p.m. for the Youth Day game hosted by the soccer booster club.

Head coach Charles Conley said the Cats are playing well, but still have a tough road ahead of them.

"The guys are playing better, but we'll see how the next two-and-a-half weeks turn out," he said. "We have high aspirations, but again are very young. Certainly we are shooting for a top three or four seed and have to go a minimum of 4-1 to achieve this feat."

The Cats started off last week on the right foot with a 3-2, double overtime victory at Menomonie. Tanner Heinselman and Shay Maloney accounted for the Wildcat goals in regulation before Heinselman's second goal of the game in the second extra session gave River Falls the win.

Heinselman netted a hat trick to spark the Cats to a 4-1 victory over Rice Lake on Thursday. Adrien Goudreault also had a goal and an assist while Martin Walker picked up two assists and Austin Lynum added one.

Saturday at the La Crosse Logan Quad, the Wildcats defeated the host team 2-1 and beat Platteville 2-0 before earning the championship trophy with a 1-0 victory over Winona. All three games consisted of 50 minutes.

"Defensively we're solidifying some things, tightening up a bit and the second match we didn't face a shot against," Conley said about the tournament.

The Cats fell behind La Crosse Logan early, 1-0, before goals by Ryan Bjornstal and Sid Young earned them the victory. Walker and Griffin Lacek accounted for the Wildcat goals in the 2-0 win over Platteville while Heinselman tallied the only goal of the game against Winona.

Conley said the team will face tough competition in its upcoming games.

"Thursday we face a Chippewa team with whom we are locked up in a three-way tie for second in the conference with Menomonie," he said. "Tuesday doesn't get any easier facing a Hudson squad who is down this year at 1-5, but who clearly gets up to face us as we are their only win."

Tuesday's Youth Day match against Hudson kicks off at 5 p.m. Any youth wearing a soccer jersey will be admitted to the game for free and receive a free hot dog and the opportunity to win a variety of postgame raffle drawings. Children will also be able to scrimmage on the field at halftime.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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