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Boys soccer: Trojans win in the rain, 2-1

By AARON HAGEN The Globe WORTHINGTON -- Chris Cerda doesn't mind playing in the rain. "Yes, but when it's hot outside and when it's humid," he said. So while the rain didn't bother the senior defenseman on Worthington's boys soccer team, the 37-d...

Trojans Soccer vs Mankato West web.jpg
Worthington boys soccer player Jon Keodouangsy (10) battles for control of the ball Thursday from Mankato West attackers Seid Jama (4) and Sam Neumann (6). (Tim Middagh / The Globe)

By AARON HAGEN

The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- Chris Cerda doesn’t mind playing in the rain.

“Yes, but when it’s hot outside and when it’s humid,” he said.

So while the rain didn’t bother the senior defenseman on Worthington’s boys soccer team, the 37-degree temperature was a different story.

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“I never liked playing in the cold,” Cerda said. “Some of us like playing in the rain, but not the cold.”

With the temperature dropping and a steady rain falling throughout Thursday’s game, Worthington and Mankato West had to battle each other, as well as the elements. However, WHS scored just enough in a 2-1 victory.

“We had to adjust to the field,” WHS head coach Juan Flores said. “The ball was faster, the ball was just slippery on the guys. We couldn’t control it. The passing was off today, it was either too long or too short. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Early on, the Trojans had their chances. But each time, West goalie Nicholas Lundberg made the saves.

“I think we played OK,” Flores said. “When it comes to sections, we have to play next level soccer. It’s a one-game season and we have to step it up. We had plenty of chances, we just couldn’t find the back of the net today for some reason. It’s frustrating because we always talk about being consistent. Next week when sections start, we have to put those chances away otherwise I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Finally, WHS was able to break through. With 56 seconds remaining until halftime, Jon Keodouangsy scored, giving WHS a 1-0 lead.

Out of the break, the Trojans scored quick. Eight minutes in, Keodouangsy had a free kick from the 29-yard line. His shot was on goal, but saved by Lundberg. However, Cerda was there to knock in the rebound.

“I knew the goalie wasn’t going to be able to catch it with the ball being so wet,” Cerda said. “My first instinct was to follow the ball right away and I was the first one there and got the goal.”

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That turned out to be the game-winning goal. The Scarlets’ Tyler Makela scored midway through the second half to cut the deficit to one goal.

And while Worthington had runs at the goal late, it wasn’t able to find the net in the 2-1 victory.

“It was really wet out there and really cold, too. We wanted to play the ball on the ground and played a lot slower and passed more,” WHS midfielder Anthony Euceda said. “We just have to finish our chances. Every chance we get we have to finish from now on. We just have to put it on target. We have to work on finishing and passing the ball faster. We just have to practice as a team and pressure as a team.”

For a large group of seniors, Thursday marked the last regular season home game.

“This group of seniors, they are all my brothers,” Cerda said. “We grew up from seventh grade, we played summer soccer and fall soccer all the way until now.”

The Trojans finish the regular season 14-2. They will begin the section tournament next week, with their first game likely Oct. 13.

“It’s a whole week for us to get back at it. People say we might be rusty with that, but I think we’ll be ready and healthy and ready to play,” Cerda said. “We still want to play one more month rather than one more week. We’re going to keep focused on our game and (take it) one game at a time.”

Mankato West 0 1 -- 1Worthington 1 1 -- 2

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Trojans Soccer vs Mankato West 2 web.jpg
Worthington Trojan Victor Alvarez, in a heavy rain, intercepts a pass and kicks the ball back into Mankato West's side of the field as the Trojans' German Lopez (9) and Starlet Gus Olseth follow his move. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

Related Topics: BOYS SOCCER
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