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Boys Soccer: Close game goes to Richfield

The New Life Academy boys soccer team was looking forward to Saturday’s non-conference road game with Richfield.

The Eagles marked the rematch game on this year’s schedule after Richfield defeated them in the section playoffs last October 1-0.

It was another close battle for the Eagles, but Richfield again won 1-0. New Life Academy head coach Robb Rupp said the Eagles had a few good scoring chances in the first half. But Richfield came back in the second half to control possession. Yinka Famodu scored the only goal of the game in the second half to put Richfield ahead 1-0.

Goalkeeper Zach Thor was credited by Rupp for making saves on “five or six good shots” in the second half to keep the score close.

Rupp said the outcome of the game might have been different if the Eagles had been able to score on one of their opportunities in the first half.

“When we get chances to score, we have to capitalize on them,” Rupp said. “I think if we would have scored on the one or two chances we had in the first half, that would have been a difference for us.”

Still, Rupp is happy with how the Eagles have played improved defense against quality opponents like Richfield. Similar opponents had scored more often earlier in the season.

“We were giving up way too many goals, and now we’ve taken a team on like those teams and we gave up one goal,” he said. “I was very happy about that. I thought we did well adjusting to them. We didn’t give them anything easy.”

New Life Academy also defeated Spectrum 5-0 on Sept. 27 to stay undefeated in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association. The Eagles held the top spot in the MCAA with a record of 6-0 heading into this week.

New Life Academy will have the opportunity to close out the regular season with a conference championship if it can win scheduled games this week against Legacy Christian on Monday and Trinity on Saturday. Trinity was still in the hunt for the MCAA title with a record of 5-1.

New Life Academy is also scheduled to play section opponent St. Croix Lutheran on Thursday.

The Section 3 1A tournament is scheduled to start with play-in games starting this Monday.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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