STURGIS, SD – The Sturgis Scooper boys soccer team hosted a home playoff game for the first time in program history and came out victorious, earning a hard fought 1-0 win over the Huron Tigers in windy conditions at Woodle Field.
The Scoopers lost their matchup with Huron earlier this season on Aug. 19 by a score of 2-1 at Tiger Stadium. Sturgis came into the match as the #7 playoff seed and Huron was seeded #11.
Sturgis had a distinct size advantage over the Tigers and used physical play to keep the Huron offense at bay through much of the first half, holding them to just three shots on goal.
With 10 minutes left in the first half, Tiger goalkeeper Eh Ja Beh Win went for the ball in the corner of the field and committed a hard foul on Scooper forward Luke Hosman. Win was given a yellow card and had to leave the game briefly and was replaced by Klo Eh Hser. A Huron defender was called for a handball in the penalty area just two minutes later, giving Sturgis a penalty kick. Carsen Wolter converted the free kick with 7:23 left before halftime, giving the Scoopers a 1-0 lead.
Huron had the wind at their backs in the second half and took advantage, threatening to score several times late in the match. The physical play continued with two Huron players getting yellow cards throughout the second half and one player getting a red card with less than a minute left in the match. The Tigers failed to score and Sturgis earned the first round playoff win.
The Scoopers (10-3-1) finished with 18 shots on goal and 12 fouls, including one yellow card on Ty Ferguson in the second half. Goalkeeper Christian Lemcke had six saves for Sturgis.
Huron had nine shots on goal and 12 fouls. The Tigers finish their season at 4-7-3.
Sturgis moves on to the second round of the playoffs where they face the second seeded Sioux Falls O’Gorman Knights next Saturday in Sioux Falls.