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Boys Soccer: Cardinals thrash SWC to win home opener

Under pressure from Southwest Minnesota Christian defender Matthew Raak, Willmar’s Ezequiel Gomez (9) tip-toes along the sidelines and keeps the ball in play on Tuesday during a non-conference match at Kennedy School in Willmar. Tribune photo by Tom Larson

WILLMAR — The Willmar boys soccer team kicked its offense into high gear in the second half against Southwest Minnesota Christian on Tuesday, scoring four goals in a 5-0 victory at Kennedy School in its home opener.

Juan Contreras netted the Cardinals’ only goal of the first half, but a second goal early in the second half seemed to spark the offense.

In the 56th minute, Willmar won the ball just inside its end and defender Jaden Wright worked the ball up the side. He got the ball to forward Nick Courtney, who set up forward Alex McLouth for a one-timer just inside the right post.

“In the first half, we were fairly flat,” Willmar coach Jeff Winter said. “It was pretty even, back and forth. In the second half, on the scoreboard and on the field, we took over. We started going to the ball and played like we did in the second half against St. Cloud Apollo (a 2-1 Willmar win on Aug. 29).”

Just 20 seconds after McLouth’s goal, Teza Harrison scored on an assist from Contreras.

Matt Wiedeman scored on an assist from Christian Vallecillo four minutes later, and Isaac Yoakum, on a set-up from Contreras, punched home the Cardinals’ final goal with 50 seconds left.

Contreras finished with a goal and two assists. Goalie Charlie Trochlil made 5 saves.

The Cardinals play their second Central Lakes Conference game of the season against St. Cloud Tech at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Willmar plays another Section 2A opponent, Hutchinson, at 1 p.m. Saturday at Kennedy.

Willmar 5, SW Christian 0

SWMC            0 0 — 0

Willmar           1 4 — 5

FIRST HALF – W: Juan Contreras (Charlie Hopman) 20:00

SECOND HALF – W: Alex McLouth (Nick Courtney) 56:00 … W: Teza Harrison (Contreras) 56:00 … W: Matt Wiedeman (Christian Vallecillo) 60:00 … W: Isaac Yoakum (Contreras) 80:00

SHOTS ON GOAL – Southwest Minnesota Christian: 8 … Willmar: 18

GOALIE SAVES – SWMC: Sean Sandness 13 … Willmar: Charlie Trochlil 8