Boys soccer: St. Cloud Tech hands Detroit Lakes a frustrating loss in home opener
The St. Cloud Tech boys soccer team scored six second half goals to hand Detroit Lakes an 8-1 loss in its home opener on Tuesday afternoon.
DETROIT LAKES – The Detroit Lakes boy soccer team saw its early-season challenge against St. Cloud Tech as a chance to establish itself as a contender in Section 8-2A. It quickly turned into a wake-up call.
The Lakers (1-1) fell 8-1 despite only trailing at the half 2-0. The Tigers (1-1) scored six times in the final 40 minutes on their way to their first wins of the season.
“I think they came into the game with a lot more energy than us,” senior Caden Reep said. “I looked over at them, and their energy was a lot higher. When I looked at our team, nobody was talking with each other. It felt like people weren’t excited. We weren’t as ready as they were. When we’re down by two goals, we need to have a better attitude with each other instead of yelling. We need to be able to talk with each other.”
From the jump, Detroit Lakes was shorthanded on the defensive end. Injuries and absences made playing with Tech’s speed difficult for 80 minutes.
“Our first challenge came in when Cole Deraney got hurt last weekend,” head coach Justin Wegleitner said. “He’s our center back with a lot of speed to help Caden Reep. That was something that slowed us up from the start. We also had another defender that was missing today, so we had to switch things up from the start. Avery Young played well in the middle for about 75% of the game but gave up a yellow card at the end that cost us. But he did a valiant job of keeping up. Tech wore us down with through balls and sends.”
Sougui Hussein scored in the fifth minute on a crossing pass from Gavin Fenstad. The Lakers held off the Tigers until the 37th minute. Caleb Campina doubled the lead after Detroit Lakes goalkeeper, Evan Thomas, made a flurry of saves.
“When Evan’s mind is set on making a save, there’s not a better keeper in the section,” Wegleitner said. “You can see it in the first half when he made some of those brilliant saves, and he made more of them in the second half. He just needed a few of our defensive guys to get that ball out after making some saves. We have to be there to clear them out on every play.”
Hussein added his second goal of the match early in the second half. Abdimalik took a penalty kick and rang it off the post to the right of Thomas. Hussein cleaned up the loose ball to give Tech a 3-0 lead.
Detroit Lakes had a push down 3-0. Sophomore Mikail Ramsey looked to have beaten the Tiger’s keeper to his left in the 63rd minute, but the goal was called back as Ramsey was offside.
“It’s definitely deflating,” Wegleitner said of the overturned goal. “We have all of our energy up after that. When he makes that call, it takes the wind out of our sails. It felt like we were going to roll at that point. Then you have to start over. It was a close call–maybe a stride or two.”
The Tigers scored five times in the final 16 minutes. Noah Meyer tallied the lone Detroit Lakes goal on a penalty kick late for his fourth goal of the season. After the Lakers’ picked up a nice road win over Little Falls last week, Tuesday’s game put them back at square one.
“It was good to get a win (in Little Falls), but we know where we want to go,” Wegleitner said. “We wanted to establish something much stronger than we did against Tech. We had 55-60 minutes of good play today and 20 minutes that cost us. We can turn it around. I feel like we can get a good, solid game against Hillcrest now that we know where we’re at.”
Wegleitner believes the first step the Lakers need to take is being able to bounce back from adversity faster.
“We need to find more positive communication to bring to the team,” Wegleitner said. “At halftime, we were in it. We thought we were in the game. Mentally, we weren’t ready for the rebound. We have to have every single player on the field running with that attitude that we can rebound and win this thing. When you run into a team like Tech, they’re going to pound it on you. There were a couple of times where they put two goals on us in a minute or two of each other. If we can stop that and rebound from those goals, it’ll go a long way.”
As a senior, Reep can sense his time on the pitch is limited. Efforts like the one Detroit Lakes put forth on Tuesday aren’t going to cut it in his final run as a Laker.
“You can feel it set in,” Reep said on being a senior. “Like today, I was getting a little emotional. When you’re down that much, and you look around and see everyone’s effort so low, it hits you that this is your last season. You want everybody to realize that and try their hardest. But it’s not everyone’s last season.”