10/11/2019 11:08:00 AM Area soccer teams wrap up regular season, postseason awaits
Chisago Lakes Girls In what was to be their final regular season game, the Wildcats (14-0-1) didn't exactly know what to expect from the 22nd-ranked Minnehaha Academy Redhawks (7-3-3) coming into the match at Chisago Lakes High School on Thursday, October 3. The Redhawks had tied fifth-ranked Breck and lost to 20th-ranked Blake by just one goal. But the Wildcats were on point from the start. Nine minutes into the match, Riann Daas found Estefani Hanson, who shot the ball into the lower corner for the first Wildcat goal. Midway through the half, Allison Glenna found Daas for the Wildcats' second goal. And with eight minutes left in the half, Madison Kubalek sent a one-touch pass to Daas for the Wildcats' third goal and a 3-0 halftime lead. Early in the second half, Minnehaha Academy scored to make it 3-1. The score stayed that way until the 81st minute, when Kellie Higgins sent a corner in to the box and Avery Constant blasted it home to give the Wildcats a more comfortable cushion at 4-1. Daas – who finished with two goals and two assists – sent a beautiful feed across the box to a wide-open Rayna Barrett for the finish. Finally, Hanson dropped a ball back to Kellie Higgins, who bent it in for a goal to make the final score Chisago Lakes 6, Minnehaha Academy 1.
Chisago Lakes Boys Chisago Lakes 3, Becker 0 The Wildcats used a high-pressure attack led by forwards Jamie Mower, Eithan Carlson and Josiah Modean, and it paid off with two first half goals by Mower in the first 15 minutes. The first goal was unassisted as Mower converted on a missed clearing attempt and Modean fed Mower for the second goal. Modean scored later in the first half, assisted by Zach Hennen and the Wildcats held on for a 3-0 shutout win Thursday, October 3 at Chisago Lakes High School.
“We played a real good team game in this one,” said Wildcat head coach Matt Koehn. “Everyone got some playing time, which made it real nice. Senior defenders Jacob Bense, Luke Wille and Jacob Docniak were stepping up to get the ball the whole game, to make sure no balls got through.”
Duluth Marshall 3, Chisago Lakes 1 In their final regular season game this year, the Wildcats played at Duluth Marshall in wet weather and lost 3-1. The game was played Saturday, October 5. Considering field conditions and playing status, the Wildcats were just happy to get out of Duluth with no significant injuries and no players suspended due to a second yellow card.
The Wildcats, trying to avoid having anyone suspended for a second yellow card going into tonight’s section playoffs, rested four starters for significant chunks of the game. Zach Hennen scored on a free kick in the first half for the Wildcats’ only goal of the game. Koehn said “Andrew Johnson, Will Hennen and others did a good job filling in for the starters who were sitting. We actually didn’t even expect to play this game, as it was foggy and there was a good amount of standing water on the field. The ball tended to skip. We couldn’t quite put any more in the net and did hit the post once.”
In what was seen as a rebuilding year, the Wildcats finished with a 6-1-0 record in Mississippi 8 Conference play and tied Monticello and St. Francis for the conference title. Koehn said “That was one of our goals coming into the year and it’s a fun thing to have. It shows that our guys were competitive in the conference and played really well together.”
North Branch Girls The Viking girls went 0-1-1 in their last two regular season games to finish with a record of 4-10-2 in the regular season. They tied Big Lake 2-2 on Wednesday, October 2 at Big Lake. And the Vikings lost to Forest Lake 3-2 at home last Saturday to close out the regular season.
North Branch Boys The Viking boys (6-8-2) went 1-1-1 in their last three games. They lost 4-0 at home to Roosevelt on Tuesday, October 1. On Thursday, October 3, they tied PACT Charter School 2-2 at Rhinestone Park in Ramsey. Mason Maroschek had a goal and an assist. Aidan Kramer scored the other goal and Noah Schwartzrock picked up the assist on Maroschek’s goal And the Vikings finished off the regular season with a 3-0 win at home over Minneapolis Henry on Friday, October 4. Justin Ramos, George Blackwell and Schwartzrock scored the goals and Harry Toussaint and Schwartzrock each picked up an assist. And goalkeeper Tanner Bollman recorded his fifth shutout of the season.
Girls Section Previews Seeding at the top wasn’t too difficult in girls’ soccer in Section 7A this year. The Chisago Lakes Wildcats (14-0-1), ranked second in the state by the QRF rankings and seventh in the state on the Minnesota Soccer Hub website, are the class of the section and the clear favorite to advance to the state tournament. Talented, balanced scoring, a shutdown defense and solid goalkeeping from Dylan Grave should not only propel the Wildcats to the state tournament but should give them a chance to go a long way once they get there. The defense and Grave have allowed just seven goals so far this season and never allowed more than one goal in a game.
Wildcat head coach Wayne Kugel is not looking too far ahead, however. He said “We expect our girls to do very well in sections. When we stick to our game good things happen. We will have played almost every team we will face in the section. They all will make adjustments to their game plans against us and raise the bar. We will do the same. We try our hardest not to speculate about the future. Our only goal is to do what we do best and win Thursday's match.”
The Wildcats beat their two toughest challengers earlier this season. In late August, they beat second seeded Cloquet-Carlton (12-2-0) by a score of 3-0. And in early September, they came away with a 2-0 win over third-seed St. Francis (11-5-0).
The Wildcats will open the section tournament against the winner of the Spectrum/Hibbing game tonight at 7 p.m. at Chisago Lakes High School. After what should be a very easy victory, they will play the winner of the game between eighth-seeded Esko (6-9-0) and ninth-seeded Grand Rapids (8-7-1) in the quarterfinals this Saturday at home at a time yet to be determined. If they win that game, they will host a semifinal game on Tuesday, October 15.
The North Branch Vikings (4-10-2) got the number 13 seed in the section. But the youthful Vikings - they have just one senior on their varsity roster – are a wildcard in the section tournament, mainly by virtue of their 1-1 tie that spoiled the Wildcats’ perfect regular season record. The Vikings have improved throughout the season and allowed a total of just seven goals in their last four games Senior goalkeeper Emma Mohs, junior striker Paige Bauer and sophomore striker Emmie Meyer will lead the charge for the Vikings. The Vikings will take on North Lakes Academy (12-2-0) at Hanifi Fields Athletic Park in Hugo today at 4 p.m. North Lakes Academy plays a relatively weak schedule compared to the Vikings, so an upset is not out of the question.
If the Vikings beat North Lakes Academy tonight, they will play the winner of fifth-seeded Duluth Marshall (9-6-0) and twelfth-seeded Proctor (5-10-1) this Saturday, with game time and site yet to be determined. They will head up north either way. The Vikings lost 6-0 to Marshall in mid-September and 3-2 to Proctor a week later. A victory in that game would send them to the semifinals on Tuesday, October 15.
Chisago Lakes High School will host the Section 7A final next Thursday, October 17 at 7 p.m., regardless of participants.