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Girls Soccer: Red Wing shut out by Northfield

Red Wing's Maddie Erie punts a ball downfield during a free kick during Thursday's Missota Conference match against Northfield. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)1 / 2
Red Wing's Clara Grider (left) tries to keep the ball away from Northfield's Vanessa Dimick during Thursday's Missota Conference match at Red Wing High School. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)2 / 2

Still in search of its first win, Red Wing was able to play improved soccer against Northfield after taking an 11-0 thrashing from Academy of Holy Angels.

But after falling behind 2-0 after the first half, the Wingers were unable to get comfortable against the Raiders on Thursday, losing the Missota Conference match 3-0 at Red Wing High School.

“We had to play their game,” said Red Wing defender Stacey Rother. “We had to get physical and get dirty. We were getting our passes down and started playing our game.”

Making the difference for Northfield was senior midfielder Abigail Stets, who compiled two first-half goals to give the Raiders a comfortable lead.

Held scoreless since Sept. 3, Red Wing’s tone changed in the second half as the team’s emphasis was to push the ball up in an effort to generate some much-needed offense.

“We talked at halftime and we all tried to help each other,” said Wingers’ senior Maddie Erie. “We had a good team talk and tried really hard coming out (for the second half).”

The halftime pep talk seemed to spark something for Red Wing. At the 45th minute, Maddie Hardyman nearly put the ball in the net as a breakaway shot went over the crossbar, ending the Wingers’ threat.

“We came out with more oomph, whereas in the first half, we didn’t have so much of that,” said Red Wing co-head coach David Thurston. “The girls were better in transition and were better in the runs they made. … We need to start driving the ball, kind of like what Holy Angels did, instead of booting it and going over the net.”

All that was missing for the Wingers was that elusive goal. Meanwhile, Northfield tacked on one more goal as Natalie Neumann broke free from the Red Wing defense to score with 3 minutes, 49 seconds remaining.

The Wingers had nine shots on goal in the loss, and goalkeepers Ember Griebling and Serena Scanlon combined for 10 saves.

Saturday, Red Wing plays in the Lake City invitational, opening the four-team tournament with host Lake City at 9 a.m.

Along with Lake City, the field includes Stewartville and Winona, which is coached by former Wingers head coach Dusty Beckman. Red Wing looks to clinch the tournament title for the second straight year.

“We’re really excited to play there and to try and win it again,” Erie said.

Thurston added, “We have the opportunity to put a ‘W’ up, and if we play Winona and go against Dusty, it would be an emotional game for the girls to play in and hopefully that can help us to a victory.”

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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