Jake Schultz and Joe Brown
WILLMAR — Willmar maintained the pace of play for much of the game and Cesar Leiva and Kelvin Gomez-Padilla combined on both Cardinals goals in a 2-1 win over Rocori on Tuesday at the Kennedy School field. Leiva scored on as assist from Gomez-Padilla in the 26th minute and Leiva returned the favor on Gomez-Padilla's goal about three minutes later. Card goalie Zach Courtney turned back 13 of Rocori's 14 shots, with the lone Spartans goal coming on a defensive mistake, said head coach Jeff Winter.
BIG LAKE — Alexander Wickliff made his name known in a big way on Friday, running for 140 yards on just eight carries and scoring two TDs as Willmar won its third game of the season, 55-7, over Big Lake. Willmar's Drey Dirksen, who ran for 88 yards on just nine carries, scored two rushing touchdowns and he also fired scoring passed to Jake Evans and Caleb Owens. Owens turned three catches into 121 yards, and Tanner Bauman reached the end zone on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter.
KERKHOVEN — KMS battled for a first set victory against Camden Conference foe, Canby, Thursday night. Unfortunately for the Saints, though, the court tilted heavily in favor of the Lancers after that. Canby nabbed a 3-1 victory (20-25, 25-13, 25-6, 25-23) to move to a 5-3 on the young season. The Saints dropped to 6-5. Lauren Krieger led the offensive effort for the Saints with 10 kills and teammate Lydia Wagner added eight kills. Katie Krieger finished with 20 digs and two ace serves. Canby 3, KMS 1 Canby 20 25 25 25
PRINSBURG — Yellow Medicine East won its seventh match of the season with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 25-17) victory over Central Minnesota Christian Tuesday night. The Sting won three consecutive points for a 26-24 first set victory and it proved to be the Sting's match from there. Madison Hinz was the general in the center, racking up 33 set assists for the Sting. Mackenzie Dyrdahl took advantage of those passes, slamming 12 kills, just ahead of teammate Meeghen Dahlager's 11 kills. Dahlager took the lead defensively, though, finishing with 19 digs to Dyrdahl's 12.
WILLMAR — Willmar's boys soccer team really doesn't like allowing goals. The Cardinals took a gritty 1-0 lead into halftime against Sartell and doubled that early in the second half but then the Sabres bounced back with a goal of their own. The Cardinals didn't like that. Kelvin Gomez Padilla marched down the field and scored a goal a minute later for his second of the afternoon to put the match out of reach in a 4-2 win over Sartell Thursday night.
WILLMAR — Willmar broke out with three second-half goals to top Fergus Falls 4-1 in a Central Lakes Conference battle Monday afternoon at the Kennedy Elementary School field. Hannah Johnson kicked off a second-half barrage with a strike just two minutes into the half and she dished the ball to Ellary Lange 27 minutes later to put the Cardinals up 3-1. Kirah Kessler-Gross scored her first varsity goal five minutes later to round out the scoring.
MONTEVIDEO — The first quarter between Morris/Chokio-Alberta and Montevideo seemed more like basketball than football with 35 combined points. The visiting Tigers were able to keep that pace the rest of the way, securing a 49-21 Mid State 2 district win on Friday.
WILLMAR — Kevlin Gomez-Padilla slotted home a sliding volley in the 63rd minute to power Willmar past Brainerd 2-1 Thursday night. The Cardinal midfielder also scored the match's first goal with a penalty kick in the 27th minute after striker Cesar Leiva earned the call. Zach Courtney played a strong game throughout with 10 saves. Willmar will hit the road with a match at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Alexandria. Willmar 2, Brainerd 1 Brainerd................0 1 — 1 Willmar................. 1 1 — 2
WILLMAR—The Willmar Cardinals kicked off the Central Lakes Conference campaign with a resounding 7-0 victory against Sartell. The Cardinals won all four singles matches in straight sets and that proved to be enough for the victory but that didn't stop the Sabres from fighting in the doubles courts. Willmar won all three matches by narrow margins, including a pair of come-from-behind victories in Nos. 1 and 3 doubles. Paige Hanson and Abby Stauffenecker won their No. 2 doubles match 7-6, 7-6. Willmar 7, Sartell 0 Singles
MARSHALL — Marshall, a 27-9 state tournament team last fall, appeared in top form to open this season, defeating Willmar in three matches on Thursday. Willmar's Carly Wedel led the team with eight kills, she was the Cardinals' top setter with 16 assists and she had seven digs. Caitlin Ogdahl had six kills and three blocks and Sydney Olson and Sydney Schnichels both had four kills. The Cardinals play next against Jordan at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hopkins. Marshall 3, Willmar 0 Willmar (0-1) 19 21 17