September 14, 2006 at 8:50 a.m.

Wildcat boys' soccer still unbeaten

Wildcat boys' soccer still unbeaten
Wildcat boys' soccer still unbeaten

CL 0, Totino Grace 0 (OT)

In a game between the tenth-ranked Wildcats and the fifth-ranked Totino Grace Eagles, the two teams battled to a 0-0 overtime tie Tuesday, September 5 at Totino Grace.

Senior forward Christian Swanberg used his blazing speed to generate two breakaways early in the first half, but both shots sailed just wide of the net. The Eagles had the lion’s share of the scoring opportunities in the game, but time and again were stymied by the tenacious Wildcat defense and strong goaltending by goalie Tommy Fitzer, who made 16 saves. Stopper Neil Taurinskas played an inspired game. Taurinskas was all over the field, with an assortment of steals, headers and tackles, frustrating the Eagle’s offensive efforts.

In the 55th minute, an Eagle forward broke free down the left side just past midfield and raced toward the net with a Wildcat defender at his heels. Fitzer raced out from the shadow of the net to challenge the shooter. As the Eagle player got ready to shoot, Fitzer slid and knocked the ball away and the player over. Fitzer got up, got the ball on his foot and carried it to near midfield, blasting it into the other end of the field and out of danger.

The Wildcats were awarded a free kick from 35 yards out with 40 seconds to go in regulation and pushed everyone up to take advantage of the late scoring opportunity. They got the ball to the front of the net and moved it around, but the Eagles got control and sent it upfield. The Eagles raced down the field with the ball on a three-on-one breakaway. As they crossed midfield, the crowd began the chant: “10-9-8…” The Eagle forward ripped a shot from about 15 yards out at the number “five.” The blast appeared headed just under the crossbar, but Fitzer leaped high and got a couple of outstretched fingers on the ball, deflecting it just over the crossbar and keeping the game tied.

The Wildcats played with a short bench all game, and it showed in overtime as both Swanberg and senior midfielder Scott Leigh went down with cramps. But both were fine after the game. In two five minute overtimes, the final score remained Chisago Lakes 0, Totino Grace 0.

“The boys played an amazing game,” said Wildcat head coach Mark Leigh. “They left everything they had on the field and tied one of the top teams in the state. This game showed what we’re capable of when we play hard and smart.”

Chisago Lakes 3, St. Francis 1

After an intense game against the highly ranked Totino Grace, the Wildcats had a letdown against the St. Francis Fighting Saints. Despite a lackluster performance, the Wildcats controlled the game and won 3-1. Christian Swanberg’s first hat trick of the season provided all the scoring for the Wildcats.

The Fighting Saints’ strategy seemed to be to bottle up high-scoring Wildcat forward Chris Golv. So Golv turned into a playmaker, sending pass after pass onto the box. Golv connected several times with fellow senior forward Swanberg, who used a newfound shooting touch to put away two of Golv’s crosses. Midfielder Tyler Bouwens assisted on Swanberg’s other goal. Swanberg did a lot of scoring over two days, as he also kicked five extra points in the Wildcat football team’s victory over Benilde Friday night.

“I think the guys were tired, both physically and emotionally, from the Totino Grace game,” said Leigh. “But they still did what they need to do to win the game and remain undefeated on the season.”

CL 3, Two Harbors 1

The Wildcats fell behind in the first half, only the second time all season they’d been behind. But they scored two goals before halftime, and added an insurance goal in the second half to beat the Two Harbors Agates 3-1 at Chisago Lakes Saturday, September 9.

In the tenth minute, the Agates took a free kick from 25 yards out in line with the left post. The hard shot sailed over the wall of Wildcats and into the upper left corner of the net, just grazing the outstretched hand of goalie Fitzer and giving the Agates a 1-0 lead.

Despite the Agate goal, the Wildcats dominated play in the first half. Frustration showed early as the Wildcats had a number of scoring opportunities, but missed the net with 10 or more shots. Their first shot on net came from Scott Leigh in the 21st minute.

Leigh’s shot seemed to straighten the Wildcats’ aims. Just a minute after Leigh’s shot, senior defender Troy Aadland fired a long throw-in from the far sideline to the front of the net. Aadland’s pass found the foot of Aaron Bergerson at the left post, and Bergerson deposited it in the back of the net to tie the game 1-1.

Aadland nearly scored a few minutes later as he headed a corner kick toward the top left corner of the net. But the Agate goalie made a nice save to keep the game tied.

Wildcat freshman forward Manny Cruceru put the Wildcats ahead to stay in the 36th minute. Junior defender Brandyn Johnson passed the ball to Cruceru in the Agate zone. Cruceru dribbled into the box from the left side and shot into the Agate goalie from about 12 feet. The ball bounced right back to Cruceru, and he knocked the rebound into the net to give the Wildcats the lead at the half.

The Agates came out inspired in the second half and had a great scoring opportunity just a couple of minutes in. They lined up for a free kick from about 20 yards out. The ball again sailed over the Wildcat wall, but this time Fitzer came up tall as he leaped and tipped the ball over the crossbar to preserve the 2-1 lead.

The Wildcats added an insurance goal in the 63rd minute. Cruceru put a pass through to a streaking Aaron Bergerson, Bergerson dribbled into the box and shot with his left foot, hitting the back of the net for his second goal of the game. The Wildcats shut down the Agates for the rest of the game, making the final score Chisago Lakes 3, Two Harbors 1.

Chisago Lakes 1, Mahtomedi 0

In a game featuring the top two teams in the section, a second half goal on a header by Chris Golv off of a crossing pass by Christian Swanberg lifted the Wildcats to a 1-0 win over the Mahtomedi Zephyrs Monday, September 11 at Chisago Lakes.

Senior midfielder Tyler Bouwens played his best game of the season and generated at least a half dozen excellent scoring opportunities in the first half.

The Wildcats had an excellent scoring opportunity in the 50th minute. Chris Golv put a ball through to Mark Eagan in the box. Eagan got off a quick shot, but the Zephyr goalie made a nice save to rob Eagan and keep the game scoreless – but not for long.

Swanberg took the ball into the right corner and ripped a crossing pass about seven feet off the ground right across the front of the net. Golv used his skill as a high jumper as he came in toward the left post, leaped and dove as he headed it hard toward the net. The goalie had no chance to get the shot, and the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead.

The Zephyrs had their best scoring opportunity in the 61st minute. Zephyr forward Tom Hoffman, who’d been giving Wildcat defenders fits the whole game, carried the ball around a defender and into the box from the right side. He took a shot from about 15 feet straight out from the right post. The ball appeared headed inside the left post, but Fitzer dove to his right and somehow got a hand on it, deflecting it just wide and preserving the Wildcat lead. The Wildcats fended off a stepped up Zephyr attack for the last 10 minutes of the game and emerged with a hard-fought 1-0 victory.

“That was close,” said Wildcat head coach Mark Leigh. “We had way more opportunities than they did, but they had three or four corner kicks at the end. We dominated the first 30 minutes of each half, and they really put the pressure on for the last 10.

“The whole defense – Troy Aadland, Brandyn Johnson, Neil Taurinskas and Jordan Belleisle – played the entire game and played well. In fact, the whole team played well, from the front to the back. What’s nice about our team is that everyone seems to do their job well, and the two or three times a game the other team gets off a good shot, Tommy comes up with some spectacular saves. This was a big win in the section for us.”

The Wildcats (6-0-1 overall, 2-0-1 conference) get back into conference play this week. They were scheduled to play at Fridley Tuesday, September 12. They head up the road to North Branch to take on the Vikings today at 5 p.m. at the North Branch football field. On Monday, September 18 they’ll close out their road trip with a game at section opponent St. Croix Lutheran at 4:30 p.m.


Comments:

Commenting has been disabled for this item.

Events

October

SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.

Events

October

SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.