Crusaders win first games as varsity program

Senior Dillon Derner battles for the ball during LHS’ game against PACT Charter on Aug. 27.

Senior Dillon Derner battles for the ball during LHS’ game against PACT Charter on Aug. 27.

After two long winless season in 2011 and 2012, the Mayer Lutheran boys’ soccer team brought home not just one, but the first two wins as a varsity program last week.

Competing at Concordia Academy – Roseville on Sept. 3, the Crusaders went up against a very physical team, and fought hard for a 4-1 victory, according to head coach Josh Hanley.

“We were able to execute our game plan exactly how we said we were going to,” he said.

During the game, the Crusaders improved from games earlier this season, fixing mistakes.

“It was very cool to see,” Hanley said.

Tied 1-1 at halftime thanks to a goal by senior Chris Bakke, the Crusaders held command of the second half.

Junior Garrett Corkins stops the ball near the Mayer Lutheran goal.

Junior Garrett Corkins stops the ball near the Mayer Lutheran goal.

“It was almost like an explosion,” Hanley said.

Second half goals came from Matt Scanlon, Dain Aarrestad (penalty kick), and Brandon Holmes.

At Rockford on Thursday, the Crusaders lost 3-1 in a “very contentious game,” according to Hanley. During the game, goalkeeper Garrett Corkins went down with a shoulder injury.

For their home game against Bethany Academy on Sept. 7, the Crusaders were unsure as to who would tend goal in Corkins’ absence, until senior and captain Nick Hix stepped up and volunteered, Hanley said.

“He did exactly what a captain should do,” Hanley said. “He leads by example.”

With a strong Crusader attack, Mayer Lutheran spent as much as 70 percent of the game in Bethany’s half of the field.

“We were able to really hold them down in their own area,” Hanley said. “We controlled the ball very well, which is a big thing we try to do.”

Goals came from Aarrestad (2) and Scanlon in the 3-1 victory.

Hanley said the team is beginning to develop a pattern of scoring.

“We hold well in the first and we come out in the second and put the game away,” he said.

And just like that, the Crusaders are 2-3 this season. They will host Glencoe-Silver Lake tonight, Sept. 12, in what should be a hotly contended game as old rivalries between Watertown-Mayer and G-SL run deep. Tonight’s game will be played at Watertown-Mayer, beginning at 5 p.m.

At the International School of Minnesota on Saturday, the Crusaders will also play at Prairie Seeds on Sept. 17 before a home tournament in Watertown Sept. 21.

 

Contact Melissa Marohl at melissa.marohl@ecm-inc.com

 
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