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TROJAN BOYS' SOCCER: Trojan boys' soccer falls in 1st round of 2A sectionals

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MANKATO -- Despite outshooting Mankato Loyola 20-8, the Trojan boys' soccer team fell 2-1 in the first round of the Section 2A soccer tournament Tuesday.

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"We threw everything we could at them," WHS coach Smitty Ektnitphong said. "We had them on their heels most of the second half, but we just couldn't get anything to go in the net."

All three goals were scored in the first half, with both of ML's goals coming in the first six minutes of the game.

"I didn't think we started slow in the first half," Ektnitphong said. "We knew what we needed to do to get the win. At times we did those things well."

The first goal scored by ML came on a ball dropped right in front of the net. The Trojan defense attempted to clear the ball, but it ended up on the foot of an ML attacker. With the ball at such a close range, goalie Kody Honius had little chance to make a save.

Goal No. 2 for ML came off of a corner kick that sailed into the box and right to a ML forward. The shot went right through the fingers of Honius to put ML up 2-0 just six minutes into first half.

"I don't think our defense had any kind of a break down," Ektnitphong said. "It was just unfortunate that the balls had to come into the box like that."

The Trojans finally got on the board with six minutes left in the half on a goal by Victor Meza on a feed from Jose Castillo. ML took a 2-1 lead into halftime.

"I reminded the players that we still had a lot of time left to turn things around," Ektnitphong said. "In the second we knew we had to attack if we wanted to make a comeback."

And attack they did. The Trojans had 14 shots on net in the second compared to two by ML.

However, Worthington couldn't get anything to go into the net, giving ML the win and ending the Trojans' season.

"It is a rare that you out play an opponent that much in the second and come away with nothing," Ektnitphong said. "The kids and I are disappointed about the loss. We thought we had chances to come back, but we just couldn't get it done."

With the season done, the Trojans will be looking toward next season to make a run in the postseason.

"We are still a young team," Ektnitphong said. "I think we have the right personnel to get the job done. The future looks good and I like what I see from these kids."

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