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Hudson United holds on to earn third trip to State in four years

May 30, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor (editor@dysartreporter.com) , Dysart Reporter

The combined forces of Hudson and Union boys soccer pushed through a low-scoring 1-0 game against Waverly-Shell Rock on Saturday, May 25 to punch their ticket to State this week in Des Moines.

"I'm extremely proud," Coach Sue Rink said. "This team has the chemistry and right character traits. It's a different team than I've had in 20 years coaching. They deserve to hold this State banner up."

Coming into Saturday's game 17-2, Hudson United faced off against the Go-Hawks for the second time in the season, winning 2-0 in a hard-fought match in Waverly.

Article Photos

Statebound Hudson United pose for a photo with their third State banner in four years after their 1-0 victory over Waverly-Shell Rock on Saturday, May 25.

"I expected them to be fundamentally sound and wouldn't give up, especially in a substate finals game like today," junior midfielder Brayden Grosse said. "Watching it play out to be like it did today was no surprise."

The first half saw both teams with opportunities to score as both defenses and midfields fought for possession. Looking to stop the Go-Hawk attack, senior defender Richie Artega and the Hudson United defense rose to the occasion and caused disruption for their opponent's top offensive weapon.

"They are a tough team the first time we played them and we realized we had to shut down number 17 to limit their shot opportunities," Artega said. "We felt confident going into this game, but we had to play to our potential. Like everyone says, defense wins games and ours was important in a close game like this."

At halftime on a hot late May afternoon, neither team had scored and knew momentum was riding on the next goal in regulation.

"We had to keep forcing on the attack and keep the tighter defense to not let anything in," Rink said. "The momentum of the positive play needed to continue. Defense wins championships. You have to have the ability to contain and get the ball back."

After several close attempts, Hudson United saw their effort on the offensive end pay off as Hudson junior forward Payton Stuart scored at the 26 minute mark for what would prove to be the single goal of the game, riding their defense throughout the rest of the second half.

"You have to be really mentally tough because [Waverly-Shell Rock] is an outstanding and you can't give them an inch because they fight for anything," Rink said. "There were some scoring possibilities in this game, so we have to keep working on finishing."

And Hudson United will certainly have that chance to improve their finishing as they move forward to the State tournamet at Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines on Friday, taking on Dubuque Wahlert. Yet as the final countdown ended, the team celebrated their victory and were presented their third State banner in four years as a combined program.

"I'm feeling really happy right now," Artega said moments after photos with the State banner. "That score pumped us up for awhile and we got that W."

Despite coming from rival NICL East schools, the two programs have played well together under Rink and hope to achieve an even higher level of success during their last season in their current format.

"They are one team who are great friends and have each other's backs," Rink said. "There is no separation knowing which school they are from. They are a team of soccer players and that's the way it's been since 2016. This will be the last year of the format and it will change next year, so we're going to soak in this moment and have a good time."

"We have a strong bond with all of these guys," Grosse said. "I'd do anything for the Hudson players and they'd do anything for us Union guys."

Hudson United will be a seven seed in the State tournament, taking on two seed Dubuque Wahlert on Friday, May 31 at 2:45 p.m.

 
 

 

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