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MEDFORD GIRLS SOCCER - Raiders fly by Falcons, Cardinals; one bad break hurts with Regis

Raiders fly by Falcons, Cardinals; one bad break hurts with Regis
Medford’s Madison Clarkson dribbles the soccer ball deep into Crandon territory and aims to get it past Cardinal Marissa Flannery during the second half of Thursday’s 7-0 win at Raider Field. MATT FREY/THE STAR NEWS
Raiders fly by Falcons, Cardinals; one bad break hurts with Regis
Medford’s Madison Clarkson dribbles the soccer ball deep into Crandon territory and aims to get it past Cardinal Marissa Flannery during the second half of Thursday’s 7-0 win at Raider Field. MATT FREY/THE STAR NEWS




For the third straight game, the Medford Raiders created several great scoring chances Tuesday. They didn’t result in a lot of goals, but they got enough to secure a 2-0 win over Amherst/Iola-Scandinavia at Raider Field, the program’s first win over the Falcons since April 2, 2019.

The goals will come if the Raiders continue to create the opportunities they got throughout Tuesday’s non-conference contest. Sierra Tessmann got both goals in the win, scoring off a Bayley Metz assist 24:31 into the first half and then capping things off by dribbling through the Falcons’ defense and connecting on a leftfooted kick at 75:55.

“We possessed almost the whole game,” head coach Tanya Tessmann said. “We had 31 shots with 19 being on goal.”

Conversely, Sophia Brunner had just one save in goal for the Raiders. The Falcons had just one other shot that wasn’t on goal. The Falcons were without a handful of players, but that didn’t minimize the satisfaction Medford took in ending a six-game winless streak it had against Amherst/Iola-Scandinavia that includes two playoff ties where the Falcons won the penalty-kick shootouts in 2021 and 2022 and a 1-0 loss last April where the only goal came on a penalty kick.

Sierra Tessmann had eight shots in the win with five being on goal. Mallory Richter and Shayla Radlinger had five shots each, with four and three respectively being on goal. Richter was especially active in the second half, getting free several times on the right side of Medford’s formation for good shots that just didn’t quite find the net. All three of Bayley Metz’s shots were on goal as well.

Nikki Poetzl, Madison Clarkson, Megan Schaefer and Alexis Szydel all had multiple shots on goal.

Szydel hit the crossbar 2:40 into the second half.

Tanya Tessmann said the Raiders spent Monday’s practice doing one-on-one work and that paid off with Sierra Tessmann’s goals, the second of which finally allowed the Raiders to breathe easy in the last 4:05. The offense created seven corner-kick opportunities. Coach Tessmann also said it was good to see Medford only get caught offsides once while applying all of its offensive pressure. Now 2-1-1 overall, the Raiders will get three good practices in this week –– where Tessmann said passing will be a focus –– as they prepare for a big three-game stretch next week.

Medford will host potential playoff opponent Shawano on Monday before opening Great Northern Conference play by hosting Northland Pines Tuesday and Rhinelander on April 18. All three games start at 7 p.m. at Raider Field. Medford has only met Shawano once, losing 1-0 in 2021. The Raiders broke a 10-year losing streak to Pines last year, sweeping the season series and Medford has never beaten Rhinelander (0-23), but that’s a matchup they’ve looked forward to since losing 1-0 last spring to the Hodags in WIAA tournament play.

1-0 loss

On Friday, Medford had some good opportunities that didn’t break their way and visiting Regis-McDonell took advantage of one breakaway chance it had to secure a 1-0 non-conference win over the home team at Raider Field.

The first goal Medford allowed in its first three games of the year came 26:18 into the first half when Annabelle Schroeder sent a perfect pass through the middle of the field to Colleen Callaghan, who beat Medford’s defense while sprinting along the right side of the field and kicked a line drive that scraped off Brunner’s fingertips and into the upper corner of the net.

That was enough to give the visitors the win in their first outing of the spring. While Medford came up short, Tanya Tessmann said she was encouraged by the outing, which was clearly better than the program’s previous three meetings with Regis-McDonell. Unfortunately, Medford still hasn’t scored against the co-op.

“In general I feel like we’re further along this year with our offense,” Tessmann said. “A lot of our shots in the last two games have been on goal. That’s something we’ve struggled to do the last couple of years. We’re getting good shots. We’re getting our head on balls and we’re really striving to be the first one to it.”

The first of Medford’s best scoring chances came 6:50 in when a Sierra Tessmann corner kick found Richter, who banged her shot directly off the right post. The rebound bounced out to Talyn Peterson, whose shot sailed high.

Regis-McDonell goalie Cara Olson stopped a direct kick from Tessmann from 35 yards out about 35 minutes in. About three minutes later, Medford pressured the net following a corner kick but never got the big shot.

The best shot of the second half came at 53:50 when Clarkson stepped into an attempted clearing pass by Regis-McDonell and her 30-yard boot hit the crossbar and dropped straight down and Olson grabbed it.

“I didn’t sub much in the second half just because the girls seemed to be working well together, communicating with each other and just had a good feeling for what everyone was doing,” Tanya Tessmann said.

Sierra Tessmann had three shots in the game, Clarkson had two and Peterson, Schaefer, Radlinger and Richter had one apiece. Brunner had four saves as the visitors were limited to 10 shots.

Medford 7, Crandon 0

Medford warmed things up on a chilly Thursday night by scoring four times in the first 19 minutes, grabbing a 6-0 lead and cruising to a 7-0 home win over the Crandon Cardinals, who were making their WIAA varsity debut.

Radlinger scored twice and five other Raiders scored a goal as Medford earned its first win of 2024.

“We didn’t know exactly how it was going to be,” Tanya Tessmann said. “It is their first year. A lot of them haven’t played soccer before. But you never know. The weakest team can have their best game and it’s easy to kind of match your opponent. We have a tendency to step up with harder opponents, but then we have a tendency to struggle with other teams.

“We just wanted to come out right away and take control and we did score right off the bat with three goals in the first 10 minutes.”

Sierra Tessmann stole the ball deep on Crandon’s end and centered to Radlinger for Medford’s first goal of the season 5:38 into the game. At 7:28, a barrage of shots resulted in a rebound goal by Metz. Then Radlinger scored again as Tessmann stole the ball right off the ensuing kickoff and passed it to her left to the sprinting Radlinger, who got a left-to-right crossing shot inside the post.

At 19:14, Schaefer, back from an earlyseason ankle injury, pushed a long pass through to Richter on the right side and Richter kicked a perfect shot just under the crossbar to make it 4-0. Tessmann took advantage of Crandon’s inexperience at 27:32 when goalie Carmen Wilson touched a ball outside of her box, giving Medford a direct kick from the left side. As the Cardinals were still setting up their defense, Tessmann quickly took the kick and curled it over Wilson and into the net.

Schaefer got the sixth goal of the half at 35:33 when she got control of a Crandon goal kick, avoided a couple of defenders and fired a line drive that hit Wilson’s knee, bounced off the left post and rolled in.

After that, Medford made a concerted effort to work on its passing and held from scoring until Audrey Ruesch capped a flurry of shots with her first career goal at 66:29.

“We knew this was a game where we could work on some passing, some communication,” coach Tessmann said. “We worked on playing it back to our defense and swinging it around, switching sides. That’s what we wanted to do in the second half. We spread the goals out and we got a lot of our bench in to give them playing time too. With our bench I think we’re getting more comfortable in certain positions that we can settle in when needed.”