Yellowjackets blank Ripon
For the Yellowjacket men's soccer team, the month of September probably didn't turn out as planned. After an impressive opening win and a tie against the No. 2 team in the country, they endured a bumpy ride that saw them reside below the .500 mark for much of the month.
That all changed on Sunday.
A goal in each half and staunch team defense propelled the Yellowjackets to a 2-0 win on the road at Ripon College. The win, the third in the last four outings for the Yellowjackets, pushed them back over the .500 mark for the first time since the opening weekend win at the Advantage Emblem Cup.
Zach Harwerth (Anoka, Minn./Anoka), the junior goalkeeper who transferred to UW-Superior from Houston Baptist University, made just his second appearance of the season in goal for the Yellowjackets and notched his first victory, posting the shutout with a two-save performance.
The game-winning goal came in the 16th minute courtesy of sophomore Trevor LaRoche-Theune (LaPointe, Wis./Bayfield ). LaRoche-Theune took a crossing feed from Ben Royce (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley) and buried it for his first goal of the season to make it 1-0. LaRoche-Theune, who scored a pair of goals last season as a freshman, now has two game-winning markers among his three career goals.
After halftime the Yellowjackets extended the lead on a play that has been run countless times over the course of the season. Alberto Rivero-Garcia (Santander, Spain) started the play with a corner kick and Nate Engel (Maple Grove, Minn./Maple Grove) finished it, directing the header home for his first goal of the season and giving the Yellowjackets some much needed second half insurance, as well as a 2-0 lead.
The defense held strong the rest of the way, shutting down the Red Hawks, keeping them off the board. For the game the Yellowjackets outshot Ripon 21-2. Shots on goal in the match were 13-2 favoring the Yellowjackets. Engel and Brian Grand (North Branch, Minn./North Branch) led the way with three shots on goal apiece.
The Yellowjackets (5-4-2, 1-0-1 WIAC) will be at home on Tuesday, October 1 when they host Northland College in a non-conference tilt at Publc Schools Stadium in Duluth. Game time is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.