Boys’ soccer team loses to St. Louis Park in Sections Semi-Finals

Maggie Fisher, Features Editor

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After a close game, the South Soccer Varsity Boy’s team tragically lost to St. Louis Park in the section semifinals game on Saturday October 11th. The boys were coming off a big win (they upset Hopkins the number 2 seed in their 6AA section on Thursday October 9th) when they lost to the St. Louis Park 2-1.

“We played solid. The problem for our team is that we haven’t been able to score all year long. We didn’t score and their goals were just random lapses. We played pretty well, it’s just kind of unfortunate,” described senior Captain Johannes Carlsen.

South suffered from an unlucky goal when St. Louis Park senior Captain John Kinney scored in the first two minutes of the game. Although dominating and putting lots of pressure on the St. Louis Park’s defense, the Tigers couldn’t tie up the score in the first half.

Senior Captain and defender Cully Wagner explained, “Their first goal, that they scored right off the bat, was unlucky — a bad bounce. Then, we spent a lot of time in their half and dominated. We got a lot of opportunities. [Junior Armando Pineda] hit the post off of a really nice shot. We just never really got our lucky shot.”

In the second half, the South boy’s didn’t receive any more luck. Kinney scored his second and final goal of the game in the seventh minute of the second half by redirecting a pass with his left foot into the back of the net.

After the second goal, the Tigers seemed to dominate the game. St. Louis Park’s coach William Alvarado shared with the Star Tribune, “They had my heart racing a lot . . . It got really close at the end.”

Despite taking lots of shots, the Tigers were not able to put one away until the St. Louis Park goaltender fouled South’s forward Abdulaziz Kadi, inside the penalty box. This earned Kadi a penalty kick with only four minutes remaining in the game. Kadi shot the ball into the right side of the goal as the the St. Louis Park goalie dove to the left and missed the shot.

After the goal, the Tigers kept the ball in the St. Louis Park’s defensive zone for almost all of the remaining time in the game. Even, the South goalie, junior Tony Branca, got involved in the offense. However, it wasn’t enough to score a tying goal.

“We had more scoring chances [than St. Louis Park], we just weren’t able to capitalize them,” reflected Carlsen. “We weren’t really able to [score] on our chances as much as anyone would’ve liked . . . It’s been our problem all year long and it kind of continued in that game.”

The boys’ loss ended their season and launched St. Louis Park to the sections finals on Tuesday October 14th.

“We left everything we had out there. I enjoyed getting to play my last game with South and all of those players that I’ve gotten to know for so long. Everyone really enjoyed [the season] even though it was sad in the end,” concluded Wagner.

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