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Raiders fall in close one to Visitation

Hastings senior Jessica John tries to keep control of the ball during last week's match against Stillwater. (Photos courtesy of Beck Photography)1 / 3
Elle Cooper, a sophomore, is pictured for Hastings. She had a goal in Saturday's game against Visitation.2 / 3
Amy Oppold is pictured playing defense for Hastings against Stillwater.3 / 3

The Hastings girls soccer team is right in the middle of its challenging Suburban East Conference schedule, but on Saturday the Raiders had a chance to step outside the league and face a non-conference opponent, Visitation.

It was a nice break from league play — Hastings is 0-3 in SEC action so far this year and the team has been outscored 21-0 in those three games.

Saturday’s game ended in a 4-2 loss, but there were several highlights that the team and coach Scott Meier was able to take away from the game.

“It was a match of teams with similar players,” Meier said. “We started well and scored early with a great goal by Sam Schorzman.”

Schorzman has missed the past few games due to an injury.

Hastings held that 1-0 lead into halftime.

“The play was back and forth,” Meier said. “Our defense was playing well and we showed signs of attack with some possession.”

In the second half, though, things changed.

Visitation scored early to tie the game at 1-1, then added another goal on a broken play to take a 2-1 lead.

“The girls kept battling and we tied the game with 20 minutes left by a solid individual effort by Elle Cooper, who was persistent in driving the goal. She lifted a beautiful shot over the goalkeeper’s left shoulder.”

After Cooper’s goal, though, Visitation took over.

“We struggled for possession and they began attacking our back line with through-balls to forwards,” Meier said. “Their midfielders began controlling the field a little bit.”

Visitation scored on a corner kick to go up 3-2 and then added a fourth goal.

“I never felt we were out of the match and the girls kept playing to the end,” Meier said. “However, down the stretch, Visitation was able to secure better possession that led to some quality chances they finished on. We had some chances but could not quite build it up to create a high-quality finish.

“I was really encouraged in how we played in the first half and battled back to tie it up in the second half. We need to channel that and use it down the stretch in games to make good decisions with the ball and maintain our defensive edge.”

Vs Stillwater

Hastings lost to Stillwater on Thursday night in Hastings, 9-0.

Vs Apple Valley

Hastings lost to Apple Valley recently, 4-2, in a close non-conference match.

Hastings fell behind early in the game and then rebounded.

“The first half did not go well for our side,” Meier said. “Apple Valley scored four goals in the initial 25 minutes with a goal less than a minute into the match. Their coach had indicated effort had been an issue lately, so I expected them to come out tough. We did not match that and made costly mistakes in our end on the goals.”

In the second half, though, the game was altogether different.

“Our girls came out and played a much better second half and notched two goals, Meier said. “Rachel Reamer scored a nice goal with individual effort to get us going. Makenzi Marier, a player call up, struck our second goal off a great free kick. It was her first varsity match, so it was great to see. I think if we had the effort and decisions from the second half during the first half, that match flows differently. However, I was very happy to see the play demonstrated by our girls in that second half and something to build on. The effort has been real good, just need to take steps in improving various aspects of our play.”

Vs. Roseville

Hastings had a close conference loss to Roseville last week, 2-0.

“We started well and were down 1-0 at half due to an unfortunate counter attack,” Meier said. “Most of the first half was played back and forth in the midfield. Our girls were handling the turf surface pretty good and had some decent passing, and felt in the game while being down one goal.”

In the second half, Roseville went up 2-0 on a corner kick just four minutes into the half.

“Our girls kept after it, and we two great chances from crosses on the outside that just missed connecting with players on the opposite side,” Meier said. “Both chances had me jump in the air, as if I was on an old “Toyota commercial.” We had two solid shots from top of the box that got blocked when we had some sustained pressure. Casey Webber had a another strong game. Overall, the play was a bit better from all on the squad versus some of the prior matches.”