BY ROB LAPLANTE
David Anderson scored the eventual game-winning goal with under seven minutes to play, lifting the St. Michael-Albertville boys’ soccer team to a 3-0 win Saturday over Grand Rapids.
With the match tied at zero, Anderson took a lead pass from senior Kevin Daleiden and parked a shot far corner. It was Anderson’s third goal of the season and the senior captain said he was relieved to see the net finally wrinkle in such a low scoring affair.
“We were getting really frustrated. We had possession 90-percent of the game and we couldn’t get anything to work for us,” Anderson said. “After we scored, things started snowballing and we started playing like we should have the whole game.”
Two minutes after Anderson broke the scoreless tie, senior forward Justin McLain had a nice solo effort where he broke free from a defender and with his left foot, shot a rocket past the Grand Rapids goalkeeper.
McLain eventually scored his second goal of the match and team-leading sixth of the season in the final minutes of play.
“Justin has good finishing touches and sees the field well,” said STMA head coach Darek Dewey, who is a Grand Rapids native. “He’s still not playing at 100-percent. He’s still struggling to pressure defenders and just being able to cut. But he’s finishing and still scoring goals.”
“(McLain) is not really and off and on player, that’s bad to say,” said Anderson, when describing his all-conference teammate. “Once he gets started he gets going and that’s really what happened for him.”
Senior goalkeeper Sam Guillou wasn’t too busy, facing only four shots. Guillou picked up his second shutout of the season, the other coming in a 3-0 win against Orono.
Earlier in the week, the Knights ended a mini two-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over Mississippi rival Cambridge-Isanti.
McLain scored both goals for the Knights. His second goal came midway through the second half, breaking a 1-1 tie.
Dewey said the key to the game was shutting down the Bluejackets top offensive weapons. Josh Samsa is among the states goal scoring leaders with nine and Josh Rouse has 15 points.
“They are a pretty good team and they have two forwards who are going to be up there in scoring in the conference,” Dewey said. “They were fast enough that they could just play direct to them and give us trouble. It took us about halfway through the second half to get our second goal. Justin scored both goals and it was a good night for him.”
Prior to its match on Tuesday at Monticello, STMA was 4-3-1 overall and in second place in the conference at 2-1. The Knights host Rogers Thursday night at 7 p.m. The Royals will look for redemption, as STMA won the first meeting 3-1 on Sept. 4.
The STMA girls’ soccer team won a pair of matches last week, improving its overall record to 5-1-2 overall.
The Knights picked up their third shutout win of the season with a 5-0 victory last Tuesday at Cambridge-Isanti. Three days later, STMA was victorious with a 3-1 win at Moorhead.
Senior goalkeeper MiCale Jensen earned her second shutout of the season in the win over the Bluejackets. Jensen and junior Becky Panuska continue to give the Knights a solid 1-2 punch in goal.
Senior midfielder Jessica Johnson leads the team with five goals and eighth-grader Makenzie Langdok has three goals and three assists this season.
STMA hosted No. 9 ranked Monticello on Tuesday (results unavailable). Thursday night they play at Rogers. Match starts at 5 p.m.