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  • Val T.

Shafer scores for Rochester in loss to North Miami


Sports Editor, RTC

DENVER — Mitchell Shafer scored off a Cooper Winn assist, but the Rochester boys soccer team lost 4-1 to host North Miami on Sept. 17.

Mitchell Shafer

Rochester lost their fourth straight game and fell to 3-9-1. They are 0-5 in the Three Rivers Conference with a final chance to snag a conference win at Maconaquah on Sept. 20.

Dolan Blakely scored twice, and Benson Eckrote and Reid Johnson had one goal each for the Warriors, who improved to 8-2-1 overall and 1-2 in the TRC.

North Miami went 0-14-1 as recently as 2020.

North Miami led 3-1 at halftime and tacked on another goal by Blakely with 14:58 left.

“I thought we were getting some pretty good opportunities,” Rochester first-year coach Eric Backus said. “It was just a matter of getting to the ball and finishing. We kind of struggled a little bit with that.”

North Miami emphasized defense once they got a lead, according to Backus.

“The hard part is after they got up two, they dropped five back and played five defenders on us,” Backus said. “So I think they were just trying to protect, and we got tired because we have limited subs. Today, we had a couple kids sick. Came out a little flat and it showed.”

Tyler Reese started in goal for the Zebras. Regular keeper Parker Wallace played on defense.

“I took a risk on starting Tyler in goal and let Parker play out in the field a little bit,” Backus said. “It was almost a little bit of an energy boost for our team when Parker went in. And then he went down with a hard challenge. He took a good shot to the knee, so we didn’t want to put him back and risk anything. He seems to be OK. I think it’s just going to be a bruise.”

Despite the losing streak, Backus did not question the players’ effort.

“The kids are still fighting,” Backus said. “Coaches are not giving up on the kids, and the kids aren’t giving up on doing stuff with the coaches.”

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