Waconia boys’ soccer looks to defend 2011 WCC title

Team: Waconia boys’ soccer
Coach: Tyrel Seim
Assistant coaches: Jared DeWolf, Dan Benham, Christ Croucher
Captains: Daniel Butz and William Schultz Conference: Wright County
Section: 6A – Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Breck, Calvin Christian, Chaska, Delano, Holy Family, Mayer Lutheran, Mound-Westonka, Orono, Providence, Rockford, Southwest Christian, Watertown-Mayer, West Lutheran, and the International School

2011 finish: It was a record season for the Wildcats last year, as they captured the Wright County title and advanced to the section finals. They finished the season 15-3-2 overall, with only two losses in the regular season. The first came at Shakopee on Sept. 10 in a 2-1 contest. The second was a 2-0 loss against Orono of Sept. 27. The Wildcats wouldn’t lose another game until the section finals.

To begin section play, the Wildcats had a dominating 9-0 win over Providence Academy, followed by a 3-0 shutout over Chaska and a 3-2 shootout victory at Holy Family. The Wildcats took a hammering from the Red Knights of Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the section finals on Oct. 18, falling 6-0. The Red Knights went on to win the Class A state title.

Key losses: Missing from the pitch this season are 2012 graduates Nick Carson (team MVP), Everett Rinke (All-C), Garret Marxen (All-C), Drew Neubauer, Cameron Pomeroy, and Chase Rossell.

Key returnees: Top returning players for the Wildcats inlude All-Conference player William Schultz, James Nash, Nick Dirnberger, Ryan Christensen, Seth Krueger, All-Conference Ben Kullman, All-Conference Honorable Mention Butz, and All-State Honorable Mention and All-Conference goalie Brandon Gonzalez.

Prospects: Despite a strong returning squad, Seim sees a lot of promise in other players, who may very well earn many varsity minutes including the Glencoe-Silver Lake transfer of junior Marcel Montiel, junior midfielder Charlie Spurbeck, and senior midfielders Steven Diehl, Mitch Zebell, Ian Manske, and Brandon Benson. Senior Alex Herman is also expected to sub frequently on defense.

Teams to beat: If the Wildcats hope to defend their conference title, Holy Family and Orono are going to be the teams to beat this season, according to Seim. Come sections, Waconia will be up against defending Class A state champion Benilde-St. Margaret’s, as well as Breck, Orono, and Holy Family.

Goals: As the season progresses, the Wildcats will be focused on defending their conference title and making a deep run into sections, much like last season. With a varsity roster that boasts 14 seniors and three juniors, the team is returning seven starters from the 2011 conference title and section finals team.