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Youth soccer: Pair of Worthington teams vying for state championships

COON RAPIDS -- A pair of Worthington FC summer youth soccer teams will play for state championships this Saturday as they compete at the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association Summer State Championships in Coon Rapids and Blaine. Both the 17-and-unde...

COON RAPIDS -- A pair of Worthington FC summer youth soccer teams will play for state championships this Saturday as they compete at the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association Summer State Championships in Coon Rapids and Blaine. Both the 17-and-under and 18-and-under teams finished atop their pools and will play for titles today at 1:20 p.m. at the 17th Avenue Sports Complex in Shakopee. The U17s play Monticello and the U18s play Foley.

The U17 team was 3-0 in pool play with a 7-0 over Duluth on Wednesday, a 3-1 win over Prior Lake on Thursday and a 6-0 victory over Blaine on Friday. They will play Monticello in the state championship game at 1:20 p.m. today (Saturday) at the 17th Avenue Sports Complex in Shakopee. Worthington defeated Monticello during the regular season.

Jon Keodouangsy scored four goals for Worthington against Blaine, while Mooday Wah and Robert Ortiz-Pineda each added one goal each.

Wah, Chris Cerda and Eh Kyoo scored the three goals in Thursday’s win over Prior Lake. Prior Lake scored its goal in the final minute of the game.

The U18s defeated Shakopee 4-0, drew 3-3 draw with Eagan, and came from behind against Westonka to win 2-1. 

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Manuel Mendez netted a hat trick for the Worthington U18s in the victory over Shakopee, and Edwin Hernandez scored one to round out the tally. As has been the case all summer, Worthington coach Kody Honius said the defense was the squad’s greatest strength in the shutout.

“I think a lot of our success starts on defense -- goalie and defense,” he said. “We get defense down first and create offense from it. We have a couple people in the midfield that take control and create goals.”

The draw against Eagan was a back-and-forth affair.

“We scored and they scored, and we scored and they scored,” Honius said. “As soon as we scored they would answer.”

Mendez, Hernandez, and Victor Alvarez scored for Worthington. Alvarez’s goal really stood, according to the coach, as he scored from 30-to-40 yards out on a volley off his left foot.

Eagan used its height advantage to score goals on corners and set pieces.

“We didn’t play our best game against them,” Honius said. “They were a tough team with that height advantage on us.”

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