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On fire: Banegas' six goals sink St. Peter in boys soccer

St. Peter surprised the Worthington Trojans boys soccer team Thursday night by scoring in the first minute of play, but Jonathan Banegas answered with six goals for a 6-2 WHS win

Worthington Trojans soccer player Jonathan Banegas (5) beats the last St.Peter Saints defender Adbirahman Daud (12) as he drives in for a score Thursday evening at Trojan Field.
Worthington Trojans soccer player Jonathan Banegas (5) beats the last St.Peter Saints defender Adbirahman Daud (12) as he drives in for a score Thursday evening at Trojan Field.
Tim Middagh/The Globe
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WORTHINGTON -- The St. Peter Saints probably did the Worthington Trojans a favor Thursday night when they scored the first goal of the boys varsity soccer game in the first minute of the first half at Trojan Field.

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The Marshall Tigers surprised an undefeated Worthington team on Tuesday 2-1 in two overtimes.

The surprised Trojans, who had allowed only four goals in their first 10 games, suddenly trailed.

“We made a mistake and they capitalized. We have to understand when we make a mistake we’re going to pay for it,” said head coach Juan Flores, who added, “It was good to see the reaction that we had.”

What happened next was impressive on several levels. Junior forward Jonathan Banegas answered with a game-tying goal at the 33:45 mark of the first half, then put in three more goals before halftime. Still not finished, he scored twice in the second half to give his undefeated team a 6-1 lead. The game ended 6-2.

Trojans Hugo Rene Garcia Arreguin leaps into a group of Saint Peter Saints players (from left) Martin Anderson (20), Joshua Vangrootheest (6) and Ryan Domras (9) as he head butts the ball towards the goal during a penalty shot Thursday night in Worthington.
Trojan Hugo Rene Garcia Arreguin leaps into a group of Saint Peter Saints players (from left) Martin Anderson (20), Joshua Vangrootheest (6) and Ryan Domras (9) as he head butts the ball towards the goal during a penalty shot Thursday night in Worthington.
Tim Middagh/The Globe

Banegas, who led the state in scoring last season, scored twice on Tuesday and set up two other scores in a 7-0 victory over Waseca. His goal-scoring had been (for him) somewhat inconsistent until this week, but he’s really stepping it up now.

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“I just feel that I’m starting to connect more, starting to get ready for the rest of the season,” Banegas said after Thursday’s game.

His first goal Thursday came after he stole the ball from a St. Peter player near the middle of the field, outraced everybody over the final 45 yards, faked the Saints goalie to the right, and casually kicked the ball into the left side of the net.

The next score came at 25:25. The swift, magic-footed junior picked up a loose ball and controlled it immediately. It was scored from about 20 yards away.

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Banegas’ third goal came at 12:49 on a free kick in front of the St. Peter net after he was tackled close to the goal while taking possession of the ball.

His final goal of the first half occurred with just 39 seconds remaining as he freed himself up to the left side of the target.

Goals five and six came at 31:46 and 21:49 of the second half -- the first by taking control of a loose ball and making a short sprint to the goal, and the second as he bent the prettiest 20-yard kick you’ll ever see this year. Standing on the left side of the St. Peter net, he booted it wide right and the ball curved perfectly, skimming off the fingertips of Saints goalkeeper Eli Stoll and settling just inside the right pole.

Banegas said the team had been attempting those kinds of kicks in practice.

“I felt great about that one,” he said, smiling.

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Worthington Trojans Bayron Echeverria Santamaria (10) moves the ball up field during a Thursday night game aginst St. Peter Saints.
Worthington Trojan Bayron Echeverria (10) moves the ball up field Thursday night against the St. Peter Saints.
Tim Middagh/The Globe

St. Peter (4-5) scored the final goal of the game with 15 minutes remaining. It was a strange one. The Saints’ Ryan Domras booted it from about 20 yards away and it caught the left side of the net. It appeared as if WHS goalkeeper Osmin Pineda had lost track of where the ball was.

The Trojans’ win, on Meet the Trojans Night, moved the team to 11-0 on the season. And for the most part, Coach Flores -- who has been a tough grader on the Trojans all season -- was happy.

On Banegas’ night, he said, “I think he’s getting back his rhythm. He’s playing well for us and we hope he keeps it up as we go into the toughest part of the schedule.”

St. Peter 1 1 -- 2

Worthington 4 2 -- 6

Related Topics: WORTHINGTON TROJANSSOCCER
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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