‘Cats finish undefeated season 15-0-1

Update: The No. 1 Wildcats will host No. 9 Delano on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. Delano defeated No. 8 Providence Academy 5-2 on Oct. 9. 

Led by 14 seniors, the 2012 Waconia boys' soccer team hopes to become the first Wildcat squad in team history to win the section and advance to the state tournament.

Led by 14 seniors, the 2012 Waconia boys’ soccer team hopes to become the first Wildcat squad in team history to win the section and advance to the state tournament. The seniors include, front row: Brandon Gonzalez; middle row: Tyler Christensen, Seth Krueger, Ian Manske, Dan Butz, Mitch Zebell, and Steven Diehl; back row: William Schultz, Kody DeLange, Ryan Christensen, Ben Kullman, Alexander Herman, Brandon Benson, and Nick Dirnberger.

While an undefeated season may be a huge accomplishment for some teams, the Waconia boys’ soccer team has accepted its feat in stride and is already scratching at the door for section play.

Competing in challenging Section 6A, the Wildcats are up against many talented teams including much of the Wright County Conference, along with Chaska, Breck, and Benilde-St. Margaret’s. In the last two years, success has been a staple of the Waconia boys’ soccer team.

“We are 15-0-1 this year and finished 15-3-2 last year,” head coach Tyrel Seim said, “so 30-3-3 over the last two years while winning back to back conference titles. Not a bad run.”

As section play begins this week, the Wildcats are ready for the hunt, especially when reminded of last year’s 6-0 section final loss to Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

“Last year’s loss in the section finals has left us feeling like we have some unfinished business,” Seim said. “We want to get back to the section finals and give the seniors one more shot to go to state.”

Winning the section would be a first for the Waconia boys’ soccer team, as would a trip to the state tournament. But if any Wildcat squad is capable of such an achievement, this year’s team would be it.

“This is such a well rounded team, our defense has allowed only four goals and we don’t have one superstar on offense,” Seim said. “We have a bunch of really, really good soccer players who can all step up and score at any given point during a game.”

Waconia 4, Hutch 0
Midway through the first half at Hutchinson on Oct. 2, senior Alex Herman worked through the Tigers’ defense, feeding the ball to junior Marcel Montiel, who found the upper corner of the net to put Waconia up 1-0. Senior Seth Krueger scored on a penalty kick with one minute remaining in the half to lead 2-0 at halftime.

Senior William Schultz created a breakaway in the second half to score and give the Wildcats a three goal lead. For the Wildcats fourth goal, junior James Nash passed through the defense and fed the ball to senior defenseman Dan Butz, who scored the first goal of his varsity career. Senior goalkeeper Brandon Gonzalez had five saves for the shutout.

Waconia 3, Chan 0
The Wildcats wrapped up the season with their 12th shutout of the year, a 3-0 win at Chanhassen on Oct. 6. A “lucky” break came when senior William Schultz intercepted a goal kick, passing to junior Marcel Montiel, who beat the Chanhassen goalie and passed to junior James Nash, who put the ball in the net. The Wildcats led 1-0 at the half.

“The second half was all us as we found our rhythm,” Seim said.

Waconia’s second goal involved multiple players. It started as junior Charlie Spurbeck played through Nash. Nash beat the goalie to the ball, but collided with him on the shot. Schultz picked up the loose ball and found Spurbeck again, who scored to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Junior Mason Tuttle and senior Mitch Zebell both had quality shots on goal that were both saved by the Storm’s goalkeeper.

Montiel blasted in a cross that hit a Chanhassen defender in the shin and ricocheted into the goal, putting Waconia up 3-0 and finishing the game.

“We had put them under a lot of pressure the last 50 minutes of the game,” Seim said.

Gonzalez had eight saves for his 12th shutout.

Sections
The Wildcats, with their undefeated 15-0-1 record, easily drew the No. 1 seed in the section and have a bye through the first round, which began on Oct. 9. The Wildcats will host the winner of No. 8 Providence Academy/No. 9 Delano on Oct. 11. Last year’s section champion, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, drew the No. 2 seed after finishing a 9-5-2 regular season.

Seim said the team is taking the season in stride and has focused on the section finals.

“It’s actually kind of odd to say but we aren’t that excited about what we have accomplished yet,” he said. “I think when these guys look back at what they accomplished by finishing the regular season undefeated, they will see how rare that is, but for now these guys all want to be that first Waconia team to get through our extremely tough section and make it to state.”

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