For the third time in as many seasons, the Waconia boys’ soccer team is playing in the Section 6A finals with a shot at the state tournament.
The Wildcats once again faced Breck to battle for that state spot on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at Breck. Results of that contest were not available when this issue went to press.
WHS head coach Tyrel Seim said the ‘Cats were very excited to be back in the section finals.
“As a team we are playing really well,” he said. “We aren’t nervous and the team is enjoying this run as a team knowing it might not happen every year. At the start of the sections we set a goal to get back to the section finals. We know Breck is a good team but we are playing really well right now so it should be a good game.”
To land in the finals once again, the No. 2 seeded Wildcats defeated No. 10 Southwest Christian and No. 6 Holy Family last week.
Shutting down the Stars of Southwest Christian on Oct. 10 in a 2-0 game, the ‘Cats led by one goal at halftime, thanks to a goal by junior Jacob Stevenson (assisted by senior James Nash). Waconia’s second goal was “brilliant,” Seim said, as senior Marcel Montiel passed the ball over the defense to Nash, who put it passed the goalie.
“It was good to get a shutout and play solid defense as a team,” Seim said. “We still need to make a few changes defensively and anticipate better offensively, but we are looking much better as a team.”
Those defensive changes came on Saturday, although not in the way the Wildcats anticipated. Hosting No. 6 Holy Family, senior goalkeeper John Rogers dislocated his elbow 40 seconds into the game and was replaced by senior defender Jack Dirnberger.
Although Waconia controlled most of the first half, the Wildcats were unable to score and it was 0-0 at halftime. Late in the second half with eight minutes remaining, Nash flicked the ball to senior Charlie Spurbeck, who scored to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead and the game.
Dirnberger had three big saves in goal for the Wildcat shutout.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]