WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wisconsin Rapids boys soccer team has proven it can score goals.
The Raiders’ 6-2 victory over Stevens Point Area Senior High Tuesday night at Washington Field is another testament to that.
But it was the fact that the Raiders gave up just two goals that signified progress for coach Derek Bell.
“We can score — we’ve been doing that — but we’ve also allowed quite a few goals,” Bell said. “Tonight we tried to minimize that, and we did.”
Added Rapids senior Austin Schulze: “We were getting scored on too much. We didn’t like the baseball scores, so we made a goal to not get scored on as much and clearly it showed with the score tonight.”
The Raiders, now 4-1 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference standings, have scored 13 goals in their last two games, but allowed seven.
SPASH, uncharacteristically, has had trouble generating offense and has been outscored 10-2 in its last two games.
“That doesn’t normally happen to us,” Panthers coach Mark Peel said. “But when you make routine mistakes in the box it costs you. We made four mistakes in the box tonight and it hurt us.
“And the things we worked on in practice, we turn around and don’t do in games. We know they can score on corner kicks and we gave up a ridiculous easy corner and they scored their first goal.”
Rapids was able to score several goals on corner kicks and with its first-half attack forged a 5-1 lead at the break.
The Raiders led 3-0 when Nate Napiwocki put the Panthers on the scoreboard at the 27 minute, 20 second mark of the first half.
Five minutes later, Rapids sophomore Joe Berger scored on a header, which was followed by the second of Schulze’s two goals at 41:04.
“We have a ton of guys who finish,” Schulze said. “We do a lot of drills on finishing in practice, and coach makes us run burpees in practice when we don’t finish.”
The Raiders made it 6-1 less then 90 seconds into the second half and rode that lead until the 81:25 mark when Joey Dorgan scored.
“They’ve been scoring goals all year and we haven’t, and it’s hurting us,” Peel said. “We created opportunities; we just didn’t put them in the net.”
The Raiders had six different players score and Jack Kiiskila had a hand in three with assists.
“I love my team,” Schulze said. “We have a bunch of new kids and it’s awesome to bring them up to play at the highest level. I’m really enjoying playing with this team.”
SPASH 1 1-1
Wis. Rapids 5 1-6
First half: 1. WR, Dylan Bassuener (Jack Kiiskila), 17:35; 2. WR, Austin Schulze (Kiiskila), 20:30; 3. WR, Curtis Price (Noah Gust), 4. SP, Nate Napiwocki, 27:20; 5. WR, Joe Berger, 32:57; 6. WR, Schulze (Payton Heiman), 41:04.
Second half: 7. WR, Gust (Kiiskila), 46:15; 8. SP, Joey Dorgan (Napiwocki), 81:25.
Saves: SP, Ryan Weber 2; WR, Jordan Thames 7. Corner kicks: SP 8; WR 5.
Records: Wisconsin Rapids 4-1 WVC; SPASH 2-2 WVC.
Mark Massoglia can be reached at 715-423-7200, ext. 4736 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @markmazzy.