Soccer boys break into win column

Dominick Konkel
S. Lee Epps

The Warriors boys soccer team (1-2) picked up their first win of the 2019 season as they defeated Aquinas, 2-1, at home on Sept. 7. They had fallen to St. Charles/Lewiston-Altura 5-0 on Sept. 5.

Girls win, too

The Herald received no official report, but unofficially, heard that C/SG/H defeated Cannon Falls 4-0, lost to Plainview-Elgin-Millville 2-1 and fell to St. Charles/Lewiston-Altura 3-0.

Boys: C/SG/H 2, Aquinas 1

“I was proud of the overall effort of our team,” said head coach Daniel McGonigle. “They fought hard and have worked hard to get to this point and get the win.”

The Warriors scored first on a nice goal from just inside the 18 by sophomore Austin Meyer.

“We were attacking them from the outside in and our speed was frustrating them,” McGonigle said. “We kept looking for openings and finally, Sam Flatin sent a nice ball Austin’s way and he finished it.”

But the Warriors were not finished. Sophomore midfielder Gabe Morey tacked on a chip in from just inside the six.

“Gabe got a nice play on the ball,” said McGonigle. “We’ve been coaching being aggressive in those situations, and Gabe is one of our better players. He finished what would become the game winning goal.”

After the second half, Aquinas came out and aggressively attacked the Warriors.

“Give them credit, they came at us and at us and at us,” McGonigle said. “They were talking a lot more and moving the ball, trying to attack us up the middle.”

The Warriors countered their aggressive approach.

“I could tell the kids tightened up a little bit. And I was tight too on the sideline, so I probably didn’t help matters,” McGonigle said. “But I was real proud of our back line and how well they hung in there.”

Junior captain Dominick Konkel had a nice game both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

“Dom got us out of some jams getting back defensively,” McGonigle said.

The back line of Eli Nolte, Thomas Bechtel, Owen Zahn and Andrew Klinski held their own against Aquinas’s attack.

The Warriors gave up a goal in the 70th minute on a nice header by the Bluegolds.

“There wasn’t anything we could’ve done to stop that goal, but our kids kept their composure and played through,” McGonigle said. “It was all we could do to fight them off, but everyone on the field gave it that extra boost and we got the job done.”

St. Charles/Lewiston-Altura 5, C/SG/H 0

“I was proud with how we played, especially in the first half,” said McGonigle. “We trailed 3-0 at the break, but we felt like we were playing some great soccer.”

The Warrior players were still pumped up on the sidelines during half time.

“We held them off the scoreboard for the first 26 minutes of play, and you could tell it was frustrating them,” McGonigle said. “We gave up a backbreaker right before the buzzer sounded, and they carried that momentum into the second half.”

However, once again, after the break, the Warriors played really well conceding the fourth goal about 12 minutes into the second half.

“Then they added another and our team got deflated,” McGonigle said. “We’re really trying to work with them on playing through no matter what happens, but sometimes we collectively give up on the field. Soccer is a very mental sport.”

Speaking of mental

“We had a teaching moment on our sideline for our younger players as an official had to stop play due to some behaviors from our bench,” McGonigle said. “It was something I’d never seen before, and we held all our 7th graders to the same standard as a result of the incident. They had to apologize to the varsity players as when play resumed, we gave up three goals in one minute. You could tell they didn’t know what to make of the incident.”

As a result, all of the younger players who were at the field during the incident had to sign a code of conduct promise to the team.

“Their parents had to sign it too,” McGonigle said. “It was a nice way to remind our players of our expectations of the Warrior way.”

This week and next

“We have a busy week of soccer, “McGonigle said. 

After playing a make up game against P-E-M on Monday, Sept. 9 and their first of two back-to-backs as they will have hosted Dover-Eyota on Tuesday, Sept. 10, the Warriors play La Crescent on Friday, Sept. 13.

“La Crescent doesn’t have a football team, so we play them on a Friday night,” McGonigle said. 

The Warriors then host Schaeffer Academy on Saturday, Sept. 14. They travel to Cotter on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Both games will be played simultaneously at 5:00 p.m.

“They don’t have any lights on their fields so varsity will play on one field while JV plays on the other, both at the same time, 5:00 p.m.,” McGonigle said.