Boys’ and girls’ soccer teams take Sections

Boys%27+and+girls%27+soccer+teams+take+Sections

Emily Kruse

Senior Luke McCormick takes the ball down the field as he leads his team towards its Section championship and towards the State Tournament.

Matt Muenzberg, Sports Editor

BOYS

When he saw the hats pouring down from the student section honoring his hat trick, senior midfielder Carter Eckerline knew his team was on their way to the State tournament. “My last celebration I didn’t really know what to do, so when I saw all of the hats coming it just felt great,” said Eckerline.

Although his first goal was the only one they needed to win, Eckerline’s hat trick helped give the boys’ soccer team the confidence in their offense that they needed heading into State with their 6-0 win over Waconia.

After being upset by Orono in last year’s section finals 3-1, the Red Knights were happy to be on the winning end this year. “It was a blast. Last year we choked in the section finals,” said Eckerline. “This feels so much better.”

Eckerline got his first goal about ten minutes into the first half with a strike from the top of the left side of the box into the upper right corner of the net. “The first [goal] was one of the best-placed finishing shots we’ve ever seen,” said head coach Mr. Dave Platt.

The next two goals for Eckerline, both in the second half, were more about hard work than highlight reels. “I just kept crashing the net,” said Eckerline.

With additional goals by seniors midfielder Brenden Schember and forward Luke McCormick, five out of the six goals were scored by seniors (junior defenseman Jason Kosch had the other). “I’m especially happy for this great group of seniors that we have on our team this year, too, because they did the bulk of the work,” said Mr. Platt. “This [section championship] was for them tonight.”

With the Red Knights moving on to State, many are looking forward to a showdown against number one ranked Prairie Seeds Acadamy, but Mr. Platt isn’t exactly game planning for them yet. “We’ll have to see if we get Prairie Seeds, we have to take one game at a time,” said Platt.

Eckerline, however, has a different mentality. “We’re going to make it to the Dome, to the finals, and we’re going to bring it home,” said Eckerline.

 

GIRLS

“If you’re better and you know it clap your hands” has been a common cheer for fans of the girls soccer team this year. For most of the season, it was a no-brainer to clap, but some late season ties forced some players and fans to be a little hesitant.

However, there was no need to hesitate Tuesday night at the McQuinn Athletic Center. On the contrary, there was quite a bit to clap about, with the girls’ soccer team beating Holy Family 3-1, earning them their second straight section 6A championship.

Senior forward Aly Hoffman had two of the three goals for the Red Knights. On the first one, she did all the work, corralling the rebound of her own shot and then banking it off the post and into the net. “I probably should’ve waited longer to shoot it,” said Hoffman about her initial shot.

Senior goalie Mikayla Coulombe, along with the defenders, kept Holy Family’s high powered offense in check. The Fire had been averaging over 4 goals per game, but other than one tricky play that got by Coulombe, the Red Knights cooled off the Fire’s attack.

Junior forward and one of the team’s top scorers, Dana Buckhorn, was quiet for most of the game due to a knee injury suffered in a previous game. “It made me get rid of the ball faster [to avoid further injury],” said Buckhorn.

Buckhorn’s knee injury not only kept her from making the impact she normally has on the game, but also made her a target for Fire defenders. “It gave me a lot of free kicks. Every time I got the ball, they would just go after my knee, especially because they knew I was hurt,” said Buckhorn

Although limited, Buckhorn perfectly headed the ball to Hoffman who buried it in the back of the net. “I cut through the middle, and shot it with my left foot,” said Hoffman. “She didn’t see it coming.”