Grandall's late goal lifts strikers to first MVC victory

Cole Grandall scored on a header in the 86th minute Tuesday, lifting the Sparta boys soccer team to its first Mississippi Valley Conference victory of the season.
Grandall’s goal gave the Spartan strikers a narrow 2-1 victory over La Crosse Central in the league match at Sparta High School.
The Red Raiders jumped out to an early lead, when Red Raider Austin Helgerson scored to give Central a 1-0 advantage.
Juts over 14 minutes later, Wally Barros scored with the help of an assist by Turner Sund to knot the score at 1-1 late in the first half.
The deadlock held well into the second half, when Grandall drove home the game winner for the Spartans.
Brennon Burkhardt finished with four saves in the net for the Spartan strikers, while Jacob Litman and Connor Stenslien combined to record eight saves for the Red Raiders.
Sparta improved to 1-2-1 in MVC action and 2-4-1 overall with the win, while the Red Raiders fell to 2-1 in league play with the loss.
The Spartan strikers are back in action tonight (Thursday), when they travel to Holmen to battle the Vikings in a 5:45 p.m. MVC match.
Holmen defeated La Crosse Logan 3-0 on Tuesday to improve its league-leading record to 3-0.
Sparta’s next home game is a nonconference battle against Mount Horeb at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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