Prep boys soccer: Trojans end season in Mankato
MANKATO — The Worthington Trojans boys soccer team was hoping for a different result in its rematch with Mankato West Tuesday night.
But the result was the same — a 3-0 loss, the same margin WHS lost by in their regular season matchup with the Scarlets.
This time, however, the setback happened in the semifinals of the Section 2A tournament, ending the Trojans’ season at 11-4-1.
Worthington’s effort was strong, the attitude was positive, WHS head coach Smitty Ektnitphong said about Tuesday’s second meeting. Trouble was, the fast and well-coordinated West outfit turned away all Worthington scoring opportunities. After taking a 1-0 lead into the second half, the Scarlets scored again with about 20 minutes remaining in the game.
“A good team like Mankato West, you can’t spot them two goals with 20 minutes to go,” Ektnitphong said.
West scored its initial goal against a Worthington defense that Ektnitphong said played very well in the first half. It wasn’t an easy shot, coming at a difficult angle.
The second goal came on a penalty kick as a Trojans player was called for bumping.
The third was settled into the Worthington net following a loose ball on the left corner. The Trojans didn’t manage to clear it, and the Scarlets had their 3-0 lead.
Mankato West had 12 shots on goal compared to Worthington’s five. In the first half, the Scarlets had seven to the Trojans’ four.
“The first half, I thought we were evenly matched,” said Ektnitphong. “I think the difference in the game was ball positioning. We seemed to lose the ball at a time when we couldn’t afford to do that.”
Ektnitphong praised the goalkeeping of Kody Honius, one of a handful of seniors WHS will miss next year due to graduation. The veteran Trojans coach said along with Honius, Worthington will sorely miss the services of two other seniors, Victor Meza and Randy Lopez.
On the plus side, eight starters will be coming back for next year.
“The future looks good for the Worthington team. Hopefully, we can re-load and be ready to play next year,” Ektnitphong said.
Worthington 0 0 — 0
MWest 1 2 — 3