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Laker Boys Soccer - DL is playoff-ready

With a final regular season record of 6-9-0, the Detroit Lakes boys' soccer team is ready to kickoff the second season when the Section 8-1A playoffs start Thursday.

The Lakers look to have the No. 3 seed and if that were the case, will host the No. 6 seed, which potentially could be Crookston Thursday, starting at 4 p.m. on the DL Rotary Soccer Complex.

Seedings were out Wednesday afternoon, after this edition went to press.

The Lakers saw what is probably a top two seed in their season finale 3-1 loss in Hillcrest (Fergus Falls) Oct. 4.

The game was played under cold, sleety gusts, as the wind played a prominent role in the game.

"Hillcrest had the wind to their back in the first half, so we were focusing on slowing down their attackers," said DL head coach Justin Wegleitner.

But the Comets (9-2-2) scored early on a hard shot, which just made it over the outstretched hands of DL goalie Ethan VanOffelen and under the cross bar for a 1-0 lead.

A defensive mistake a little later upped Hillcrest's lead to 2-0, after a corner kick lofted over a Laker defenseman's head and right to a Comet forward, who headed it himself for the goal.

With six minutes left in the half, the Comets padded their lead to 3-0.

"We had our opportunities, but we couldn't cash in on them," Wegleitner said. "Our defensive mistakes also cost us two goals."

Twenty minutes into the second half, junior midfielder Sam Bergren found the back of the net to trim the lead to 3-1.

The Lakers created more pressure and kept the shots on net close, trailing only 14-11, but couldn't finish off with any more goals.

DL did defeat Walker/Hackensack-Akeley on the road Sept. 29, by the score of 2-0.

Junior midfielder Carlos Espinosa and senior midfielder Christian Tigges netted goals, with goalie VanOffelen gaining the assist on the latter.

The Lakers controlled possession from the get-go, by outshooting the Wolves (0-10) by a wide 16-2 margin.

"We kept their attack under control and held possession for the majority of the game," Wegleitner said. "They really had no threat of scoring."

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.