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Hudson United emerge with third place finish at State tournament

June 7, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

The Hudson United soccer team took on the Boys State Soccer Tournament this past week in route to a win over Dubuque Wahlert, a close loss to Lewis Central and a finished with a win to leave Des Moines with their second third-place trophy as a team.

"We came into this tournament as the seven seed and the underdogs, but we came in with the mentality to win," senior Hunter Klima said. "All of us wanted to play this tournament with everything we have."

As a show of team chemistry, the Pirates either dyed their hair blond or frosted the tips for the tournament.

Article Photos

Hudson United together one final time as a team with their third place trophy. Photo courtesy of Tracie Grosse.

"Our chemistry this season has been better than ever," Klima said. "We have a great group of seniors, close-knit even though we have the two schools together."

First up for the Pirates were the Golden Eagles of Wahlert Catholic, who delivered the first scoring punch to the Pirates. Rather than fold, Brayden Grosse shot back with a goal to tie the game 1-1, a score that would stick for the rest of the first half as both defenses stepped up.

"Dubuque Wahlert has two excellent players in their centerback as a playmaker and then number six," Rink said. "This team was great on restarts and hard to defend. We had to play our game and don't let them take us out of our game. Once we got confident, we were able to compete with this talented team."

A penalty kick would lead to another goal for the Golden Eagles, yet once again the Pirates responded with their second goal. Momentum slowly began to shift to Hudson United as they stayed with their game plan, maintaining possession and searching for scoring opportunities.

"All season long, we've been working on staying mentally tough," Klima said. "Coming into this game, we told ourselves if we do get scored on right away, we have to tough and not let down. We came back with goals back forth. That last minute was so intense, but everyone kept their shape defensively and we played as team."

With less than five minutes left, the Pirates scored their third goal. With a delicate lead in their hands, Hudson United's defense stepped up on several occasions as the Golden Eagles looked to tie up the score. A tense final minutes saw Marc Mahood tested in the box, yet the senior goalie came up with two key saves to seal the win.

"They came hard at us and wanting to run as we adjusted," Rink said. "Once we got our passing game together, we were able to play with them. I always tell the boys to paint a picture. You get the image of what we talk about and then you go out and paint that picture. They painted a beautiful mural today even when nothing was handed to them. They worked so hard."

But the hard work was far from over as the Pirates would next face off against Lewis Central in the semi-finals. A single goal was all it took for the eventual champion Titans to win a defensive slugfest and advance to defeat Cedar Rapid Xavier 1-0.

"They were a confident team and their game was defense," Rink said. "They got a shot off a few mistakes by us. It was hard to get into that defense. We played well, but not our best game."

For this final year, the tournament featured a consolation game that pitted Hudson United against Gilbert. Rather than putting their heads down upset over the loss to Lewis Central, the Pirates rallied to take control of their final game of the season early on their way to a 3-0 win and the third place trophy for the second time in the combine team's existence.

"This wasn't what they wanted all season," Rink said. "They knew they could have played in that championship match, but they saw how mistakes separate third place and a championship. They could have come back with a sour attitude, yet they came back positively to win the next best thing and raise a trophy."

In addition to finishing third in 2A, Hudson senior Alex Staebell and Grosse were named to the All-Tournament team, with Grosse scoring two goals in three games for the Pirates.

"This group of senior, this team itself is truly united," Rink said. "They aren't a 'me team' or have traits that bring each other down. I emphasized how special this year was to them. Each year for the past few years, the senior class has tried to top the one before, yet this group was tight-knit and a great group of kids to coach."



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