BY DAVE PEDERSEN
Area soccer teams were competitive in matches leading to the start of the Section 6A playoffs that started Tuesday, Oct. 8, after this issue went to press.
Both Delano’s boys and girls teams did well enough to earn home field advantage and both Rockford teams earned No. 13 seeds. Remaining tourney dates are Oct. 10, 12 and 15.
Rockford’s girls finished with a 5-0 win over the International School of Minnesota, lost 5-0 to Watertown-Mayer and worked for a 1-1 tie against Big Lake last week.
The Rockets opened the playoffs at No. 4 Holy Family Catholic with the winner to take on either Bethany or Providence Academy.
Brianna Calder and McKenzy Belanger both scored goals on headers that were assisted by Abby Botten, who also netted a goal against International. Also scoring was Cally Nielsen and Logan Henrich. Seventh-grader Jade Ellis and eighth-grader Mckenzie Rentz shared the shutout in goal.
In the tie against Big Lake, Nielsen scored on a setup by Botten to send the game into overtime. Top section seeds are Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Orono and Waconia.
The Rocket boys finished the regular season at 4-11-1 after losing to International School 2-1, Mayer Lutheran 2-1 and Monticello 2-0 in competitive contests.
Rockford faced No. 4 Orono with the winner to face either Chaska or Mayer Lutheran Thursday. Breck is the top seed for the boys with Waconia second.
Delano’s boys dominated play against Mound-Westonka, but settled for a scoreless tie. The defense yielded just two shots on goal.
The regular season ended with a 2-1 win over Hutchinson when Justin Elstad and Ryan Turnwall found the net late in the game. The Tigers put 12 shots on net in the first half but could not score.
“Our inability to finish well and score has resulted in averaging only one goal per game in our last 11 games,” said coach John Bergh. “It is not that we aren’t getting opportunities to score, we just need to relax a bit more and concentrate on shot placement.”
Burgh said Copper Larsen and Austin Stevens did a great job of marking defensively and Joseph Braidiey, Thomas Grover and Justin Elstad worked hard to control the mid-field.
The No. 8 seeded Tigers finished 8-6-1 and opened at home against Providence Academy. The winner takes on No. 1 Breck Thursday.
Delano’s girls lost 1-0 to Mound-Westonka before shutting out Hutchinson 2-0 to end the regular season at 6-6-1. The Tigers played at home Tuesday against Southwest Christian. The winner takes on No. 2 seed Orono.
MW scored the only goal on a penalty kick in a battle between evenly-matched teams. Coach Sean Roff praised the play of goalie Kelsey Delisle, who made 10 saves.
Against Hutchinson, goals were netted by Nicole Bressler and Jessie Galagher and Delisle had five saves in the shutout. The defense was paced by Maureen Booth, Blaire Dormanen, Addie Taylor, Amanda Keranen, Abby Jo Madson and Amanda Gielau.