BY DAVE PEDERSEN
Delano and Rockford had a peek at how each other’s girls and boys soccer teams are doing as teams gear up for the Section 6A playoffs starting Tuesday, Oct. 8.
In a non-conference matchup of neighbors last week, Delano edged the boys 2-1, while the Tiger girls won 2-0 in competitive contests.
The section seeds were not out when this issue went to press. Games will be played Oct. 8, 10, 12 and 15, mostly at the home of the higher seed. Delano teams have winning records and could receive middle of the pack placements, while Rockford’s boys are 4-8-1 and the girls are 3-8-1, resulting in lower seeds and facing the top teams early.
The Tiger boys improved to 7-6 after defeating Glencoe-Silver Lake 3-0, Rockford 2-1 and getting nipped by Holy Family 3-2 last week.
Austin Stevens and Max Ramstad scored against GSL and goalie Jason Deitweller posted the shutout. Against Rockford, Thomas Glover netted both Tiger goals. Ramstad and Glover scored against Holy Family.
“We have been making very good progress in a season where only three players returned with any varsity experience at all,” said first-year head coach John Bergh about seniors Justin Elstad, Austin Stevens and Keaton Bonine.
The coach made some roster changes late in the season, calling up senior defender Jeremy Muschino and junior defender James Tormanen from the junior varsity
Other defenders are Stevens, Bonine, Cooper Larson, Brandyn Wales and Ray Heikkila. Midfielders are Elstad, Joseph Braedy, Grover and Zach Durbin. Forwards are Ramstad, Ryan Klatke and Ryan Turwall. Top reserves are Sean Lohman, Jordan Peterson and Brandon Linna.
Delano girls soccer blanked GSL 6-0 when Sarah Gielau netted two goals, with one each scored by Gabby Cordes, Katelyn Elstad, Alana Dickerman and Jessie Gallagher. Goalie Kelsey Delisle earned the shutout.
“We had a great defensive effort in only allowing GSL two shots on net,” said coach Sean Rolf about the play of Maureen Booth, Amanda Gielau, Addie Taylor, Abbie Jo Madson and Amanda Keranen.
Roff says his team will not be a top section seed it has some great players who can play with any team in the section.
The strong defensive unit also includes Blaire Dormanen. Nicole Bressler is a senior midfielder who plays almost every minute of each game. Sarah Gielau, has also generated lots of offense from her midfield spot.
Amanda Gielau and Cordes scored against Rockford and Delisle made six saves. Cordes scored in the 6-1 loss to Holy Family last week.
The Tigers end the regular season at home against Hutchinson Thursday, Oct. 3 with the girls playing at 5 p.m. and boys at 7 p.m.
A spark for the Rockford girls has been junior Brianna Calder who is playing in goal for the first time after being a scoring leader last season. In the 6-0 win over Columbia Heights last week Calder was credited with the shutout, plus saw some field time when she scored a goal on a free kick from 25 yards out.
Other goal scorers were Julia Trandahl, Logan Henrich, McKenzy Belanger, Hope Achtelik and Haley Smith.
“We miss Brianna on the field, but she stepped up for the team this year to play in goal,” said coach Abbey Maus. “She is so observant and has great field awareness. She comes up with huge saves every game and is a great leader for the backfield.”
The rest of the varsity is young, including six eighth-graders. The roster includes Cally Nielsen, Abby Botten, Carlie Nesenson, Jade Ellis, Hailey Ziemer, Marie Jakubowski, Aleksa Zandstra, Maddi Bartlett, Hbnuci Lee, Grace Rootness, Mckenzie Rentz, Payton Palmer and Heidi Trandahl.
The loss to Delano was the only game for the Rocket boys last week. Jordan O’Reilly scored the lone goal.
“We started the season fairly well, but about one-third of the way through we got hit with injuries and suspensions, which really hurt our already shallow lineup,” said coach Mike Leipholtz.
The boys will end the regular season at home against Monticello, noon Saturday, Oct. 5. The last home game for the Rocket girls is 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 against Big Lake.