Boys soccer: Willmar shuts out Sauk Rapids
SAUK RAPIDS — After enduring two physical matches earlier in the week, the Willmar coaching staff switched up the practice scheme on Wednesday. The change of pace paid off Thursday for the Cardinals.
Two goals midway through the first half were more than enough for the Cardinals as they blanked Sauk Rapids 3-0 to pick up two points in the Central Lakes Conference standings.
Willmar head coach Jeff Winter said Wednesday’s practice was set up to where the varsity offense would go up against the JV defense and the JV offense would battle the varsity defense.
“It worked out and the formation really went well tonight,” said Winter. “As usual, our defense played well and they worked the ball out of the back and generated some offense.”
Twin brothers Nick and Alex McLouth worked together to put Willmar up 1-0 at the 21st minute as Nick fired a shot past Sauk Rapids goalkeeper Dean Wick after receiving a pass from Alex. Seven minutes later Alex gave Willmar goalie Charlie Trochlil some more room to work with as he scored on a pass from Jaden Wright.
Isaac Yoakum then tacked on more insurance after scoring 10 minutes into the second half. Joaquin Espinoza got the assist and also a jersey after being named the “Man of the Match”
“We got great play from Joaquin,” said Winter. “He was filling in for Jordi Lopez, who was out sick, and he’s normally a sub, but he played the whole match.”
Trochlil needed to make only 4 saves to earn the shutout. Sauk Rapids fired off 6 shots, but Brady Damhof made a couple of defensive saves to help out Trochlil and the Cardinals (3-2-1, 6-3-1).
The win capped a three-match week for the Cardinals, where they went 2-1. They now have four days off before hosting St. Cloud Apollo on Tuesday. Willmar remains 4 points behind first-place Sartell in the CLC standings with 5 matches remaining on its conference schedule.
Willmar 3, Sauk Rapids 0
Willmar (3-2-1, 6-3-1) 2 1 — 3
Sauk Rapids (1-6, 1-7-1) 0 0 — 0
FIRST HALF – Wil: Nick McLouth (Alex McLouth) 21:00 … Wil: A. McLouth (Jaden Wright) 28:00
SECOND HALF – Wil: Isaac Yoakum (Joaquin Espinoza) 50:00
SHOTS ON GOAL – Willmar: 16 … Sauk Rapids: 6
GOALIE SAVES – Willmar: Charlie Trochlil 4 … Sauk Rapids: Dean Wick 13
DEFENSIVE SAVES – Willmar: Brady Damhof 2