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Boys soccer: Big second half lifts Trojans past Waseca

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Trojans parlayed a four-goal second half into a 5-2 victory over undefeated Waseca in Big South Conference boys soccer on Thursday.

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Tim Middagh/Daily Globe Worthington High School's Jon Keoduangsy (10) makes an attempt at a score Thursday. His shot is met by Waseca Bluejays goalkeeper Henry Youngberg.

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Trojans parlayed a four-goal second half into a 5-2 victory over undefeated Waseca in Big South Conference boys soccer on Thursday.

“It’s important to win your conference games, especially at home,” said Worthington head coach Smitty Ektnitphong. “I know that we have to go up to Waseca later in the year, and we have our work cut out for us.”

With the game tied 1-1, the Trojans came out firing on all cylinders to start the second half. They connected on pass after pass and put several shots on goal before Jon Keoduangsy put the Trojans ahead 2-1 in the ninth minute of the half with a gorgeous display of team passing skill.

Ivan Rodriguez brought the ball through the midfield, leaving a Waseca defender kicking at air with a ball fake, before sending a pass up the right wing to Kevin Gutierrez. Gutierrez then sent a first-time cross to the front of the net where Keoduangsy kicked it out of the air and past the Waseca goalie.

“I don’t know how I pulled it off,” said Keoduangsy, who had two goals and an assist in the game. “I just had to hope it would go in. It was a hard one.”

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Waseca was visually frustrated by Worthington’s attack in the second half and let it show when defender Travis Hiller picked up a red card in the 55th minute. He threw the ball at a Trojans player’s back during a stoppage of play, ending his day and forcing the Bluejays to finish the game with 10 men.

Leading by a goal with Waseca down a man, Worthington put its foot on the gas for the rest of the half and made sure not to let the Bluejays back into the game.

Keoduangsy got the brace for the Trojans in the 57th minute, showing off his speed to put them up 3-1. He outran a Bluejays back line to get on the end of a long free kick up the middle from Sergio Talamantes and found himself alone with the goalie.

“There was one guy trying to keep me offsides, so I used that against him,” Keoduangsy said. “They said to push the line up, and the one guy didn’t listen. So I just ran through with the guy who held me on and scored that one.”

Ivan Rodriguez picked up the next two goals for Worthington, putting the Trojans up 4-1 and then 5-1. Rodriguez’ second goal was a long-range missile from 30-plus yards out in the 72nd minute. He got a pass from Ivan Ramirez in space and unleashed the shot.

“It was just a quick option, I saw the window and took it,” Rodriguez said. “When it’s in the air, I’m just hoping it goes in and when it goes in I’m just happy.”

Oswaldo Badillo scored his second goal of the game for the Bluejays in the 76th minute to bring the score to 5-2.

Edwin Hernandez’ versatility was on display all game as he played central midfield, central defender and forward. He ran down pass after pass in the midfield, set up a number of attacking runs with precision passes to the forwards and opened the scoring for Worthington in the 8th minute.

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He intercepted a pass in the midfield, laid it off to Keoduangsy and sprinted through center of the pitch, past the Waseca defense to get a one-on-one with the goalie and easily put it past him.

The win gives Worthington a 3-0 Big South Conference record and 3-1 overall, with its only loss coming to Albert Lea on Tuesday. Next up for the Trojans is a game with Marshall next Tuesday. The Tigers were 3-1 heading into their matchup with Mankato Loyola on Thursday.

Worthington 1 4 -- 5

Waseca 1 1 -- 2

Related Topics: BOYS SOCCER
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