Tigers’ attack stymied in regional loss

WATERTOWN – The Howards Grove Tigers ran into a tough Watertown Luther Prep defense in Thursday afternoon’s Division 4 boys soccer regional semifinal match and fell to the host Phoenix, 3-1.

The No. 9-seeded Tigers ended their season with a 9-9-1 record. The No. 8-seeded Phoenix upped their mark to 9-5-2.

Luther Prep held a 13-3 advantage in shots on goal. The Tigers’ only goal came on a free kick by senior midfielder Bryce Pedrin from about 30 yards out with four minutes left until halftime. Pedrin’s goal, which tucked in under the crossbar over the goalkeeper’s reach, pulled HG to within 2-1 at halftime.

Scoring Luther Prep’s goals in the first half were Adrian Brands and Jon Riebe within the first 13 minutes.

The Phoenix pushed their lead to 3-1 on a goal by Alex Lawrence at the 79-minute mark.

“We just could not string together any quality offensive push and never had a good look at the goal,” said Tiger head coach Bob Peterson.

“Watertown Lutheran Prep has a solid defense and really shut down our offense inside the 18.”

Tiger goalie Austin Bender made 10 saves. Phoenix goalies Josiah Mittelstadt and Evan Turriff combined for two saves.

“Like the rest of the season, our guys played hard and never stopped competing. It’s not the way we wanted the season to end but we went down fighting,” said Peterson who completed his first season as the Tigers’ head coach.

“It’s been a pleasure coaching these young men and will miss the seniors next year.”

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