Slow start costs Raiders in tight GNC soccer loss to Mosinee
MEDFORD BOYS SOCCER
The Mosinee Indians scored early off a throw-in and that wound up being the only goal in their 1-0 win over Medford Thursday at Raider Field.
The defeat dropped Medford to 2-3 in the Great Northern Conference and 3-4 at the completion of the first round of league play, while Mosinee, coming off a shootout win at league-leading Rhinelander two days earlier, went to 4-1 in league play, two points behind the Hodags.
While the early goal, which came at 10:32 was the obvious difference in the game, Medford head coach Adam Derr said the Indians took advantage of the lone lull of the night in the Raiders’ play.
“We started a little slow, but then after the first 15 minutes I thought we played much better and controlled the ball a lot better,” Derr said. “We were hoping to get more shots in goal in the second half. We didn’t really get them. It’s something we’ve been working on. We’ve been taking a lot of long shots this season and we’re trying to work on getting closer shots, easier shots. I thought the defense played really well outside of that first 10 minutes. I think everybody was just a little slow at the start.”
Mosinee’s Cole Kowalski had one good scoring chance seven minutes in, but his shot off a perfect through ball from teammate Andrew Carlson sailed high. But a few minutes later, Carlson’s long throw-in from the left sideline took a high bounce in front of Medford’s goal, Kowalski got a foot on the ball on its way down and kicked it past the right arm of Medford goal keeper Cale Schulz.
Mosinee had chances to extend its lead. Kowalski was way high off another good throw-in at the 17:05 mark, Schulz made a big save on a Jaeger Dhein redirection off a corner kick at 17:35 and the Indians got three headshots off a corner kick at 19:30 but couldn’t quite connect.
After that, however, Medford’s play started to pick up and it carried into the second half, where the Raiders possessed the ball better, made some hard runs at Mosinee’s defense and got off a couple shots but nothing that seriously threatened Indian goalkeeper Ben Harris.
The Raiders played without starters Dom Fennell and Grant Neubauer from their front line.
“Adyn Gripentrog he was all over the field,” Derr said. “Dayne Jacobson made some just heart-pounding runs down the outside. Oliver Koffler and Ethan Emmerich played well. They each bring different things to the field. They looked pretty good on the outside. With Dom and Grant not here, we’re playing a little shorthanded. It’s tough.” Koffler sent a nice lead pass to Jacobson just over three minutes into the second half, but Jacobson’s shot went wide left. A little more than four minutes later, another pass to Jacobson was broken up, but the deflection went to Gripentrog, whose 40-yard rocket was caught by Harris. Gripentrog got a shot from the left side on a transition opportunity at 60:30, but his left-footed shot was easily corralled by Harris.
The Indians had one great chance with six minutes to go when a throw-in found its way right in front of the net. Schulz got knocked out of the play, but Gripentrog was able to gain control just before it rolled toward the post.
Round two of conference play starts today, Thursday, with a 7 p.m. kickoff at Raider Field against Rhinelander, who beat Medford 1-0 back on Aug. 29. The Hodags haven’t been dominant, collecting three 1-0 wins in the first round of play and a 2-0 win at Antigo, but they’ve obviously been very good defensively. Derr said the Raiders need to keep working hard, like they have been, and good things should eventually happen.
Medford is at Northland Pines on Sept. 28 for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff with the Eagles, who they beat 1-0 on Aug. 31.
“Now we know what everybody looks like,” Derr said. “I’m looking forward to a successful second half. I think we’ve been unlucky in this part of the season. Hopefully our luck changes and we get some balls in the back of the net in the second half. The big takeaway of this game is the thing we’ve seen all season and that is these guys aren’t going to give up. They’re going to keep fighting right to the whistle and that’s what we did. We’ll take that with us and hopefully have a better second half of the season.”
Medford won Thursday’s JV game, played on the MAES field, 3-2.