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Soccer roundup: Willmar Cardinals in control

Prep soccer report for Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, in west central Minnesota. Willmar owns the midfield play in beating Fergus Falls 2-0

Willmar junior Idd Ali connects with a header for the game's first goal in the ninth minute of a Central Lakes Conference match against Fergus Falls on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 at Willmar High School.
Willmar junior Idd Ali connects with a header for the game's first goal in the ninth minute of a Central Lakes Conference match against Fergus Falls on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 at Willmar High School.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
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WILLMAR — Fergus Falls’ chances past midfield were few and far between against Willmar on Thursday night.

The Cardinals held the visiting Otters to five shots on goal while putting 17 up themselves in a 2-0 Central Lakes Conference boys soccer victory at Willmar High School.

“We were moving the ball really well and controlling the midfield; they didn’t have a lot of opportunities,” said Willmar head coach Jeff Winter. “We were able to shut down their counter attacks early.”

Willmar senior Kadar Muhumed pushes the ball upfield during a Central Lakes Conference match against Fergus Falls on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 at Willmar High School.
Willmar senior Kadar Muhumed pushes the ball upfield during a Central Lakes Conference match against Fergus Falls on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 at Willmar High School.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Ranked eighth in Class AA, the Cardinals are now 5-1-1 in the CLC and 8-1-1 overall. Fergus Falls drops to 1-4-1 in the CLC, 4-4-1 overall.

Early in the match, Willmar looked to run a cross-focused offense in hopes of stretching out Otters goalkeeper Jaydon Manteufel.

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“In warmups, we saw the goalie wasn’t diving much and we thought he wasn’t going to go to the corners,” Winter said. “We knew we needed to slide one in.”

One of those crossing attempts was converted into a goal. In the ninth minute, Nathan Marthaler booted a ball toward the middle where junior Idd Ali connected on a header to make it a 1-0 game.

Cardinals pick up CLC victory, 2-0

While no other crosses turned into goals, it helped keep Willmar in the attacking third of the field.

“We generated a lot of opportunities and we did a great job of passing around (Manteufel),” Winter said. “Our midfield along with our defensive midfielder Adan Villarreal did a really nice job of moving the ball back and forth.”

With a minute left before halftime, Ali blasted a shot from the middle of the box for his second goal of the match. Hassan Mohamud was credited with an assist.

From there, the Cardinals’ midfield was the catalyst in keeping Fergus Falls off the scoreboard. Goalie Andrew Ziebarth also did his part with five saves in the shutout.

Willmar junior Isaac Zelaya Velasquez gains control of the ball during a Central Lakes Conference match against Fergus Falls on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 at Willmar High School.
Willmar junior Isaac Zelaya Velasquez gains control of the ball during a Central Lakes Conference match against Fergus Falls on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 at Willmar High School.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

“Isaac (Zelaya Velasquez) had a great game in the middle,” Winter said. “Him and Ivan (Mares-Ciriaco) really controlled the midfield.

“We were pushing them to play a little bigger and they really stepped up tonight.”

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Thursday night was senior night for the Cardinals. Seven seniors are on Willmar’s varsity roster: Ziebarth; Carson Brown; Kadar Muhumed; Abdurahman Yusuf; Marthaler; Mustafa Mohamed; and Jacob Reyes.

Willmar returns home at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Sartell. The Cardinals also have road games on Thursday, Sept. 29 against Sauk Rapids and Saturday, Oct. 1 at Becker.

Boys Soccer

Willmar 2, Fergus Falls 0

Fergus Falls (4-4-1)........... 0  0 — 0
Willmar (8-1-1)................... 2  0 — 2
FIRST HALF – (1) W: Idd Ali (Nathan Marthaler), 9th minute … (2) W: Ali (Hassan Mohamud), 39th minute.
SECOND HALF – No goals.
SHOTS ON GOAL – FF: 5. W: 17
GOALIE SAVES – Fergus Falls: Jaydon Manteufel, 14 saves … Willmar: Andrew Ziebarth, 5 saves

Minnewaska 1, St. John’s Prep 0

Senior left forward Genaro Contreras Mondragon scored five minutes into the match to lift Minnewaska to the Granite Ridge Conference victory at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph.

It was Mondragon’s second goal of the year. He also has recorded four assists. Getting the assist on Mondragon’s goal was Aaron Feigum. It was the senior captain’s team-leading eighth assist of the season.

“We controlled about 64 percent of the touches and I’m happy about that because this was the biggest turf we’ve played on,” said Minnewaska head coach Ted Hill, who noted the College of St. Benedict field has full college-length width of 75 yards, about 15 yards wider than many high school field.“We led possession time, 58 to 42 percent,” Hill said. “In the second half, we had 66 percent of the touches. We struck two posts again, one just before we scored and again early in the second half. Their keeper (Charlie Wang) made two very, very good saves.”

It was the third shutout of the season for Tenzin Dahl, the Lakers’ sophomore goalkeeper, who made five saves.

Minnewaska plays host to St. Cloud Cathedral at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Glenwood.

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St. John’s Prep (1-6)................. 0  0 — 0
Minnewaska (5-5)...................... 1  0 — 1
FIRST HALF – (1) M: Genaro Contreras Mondragon (Aaron Feigum), 5th minute
SECOND HALF – No scoring
SHOTS ON GOAL – SJP: 5. M: 13
GOALIE SAVES – St. John’s Prep: Charlie Wang, 12 saves … Minnewaska: Tenzin Dahl, 5 saves

Hillcrest Lutheran 6, CMCS 1

Hillcrest Lutheran Academy got three goals from Rolf Fluge, two from Emil Boe and one from Isak Ostevold to beat Central Minnesota Christian at Prinsburg.

Wesley Fussy scored the Bluejays’ goal with an assist from Ryan Harrington.

Josh Nelson made four saves in goal for Hillcrest.

CMCS is host to West Lutheran at 1 p.m. Saturday in Prinsburg.

Hillcrest Lutheran (2-3-1)................. 3  3 — 6
CMCS (3-4)......................................... 0  1 — 1

Girls Soccer

Fergus Falls 2, Willmar 1

The Cardinals fell in overtime in a loss at Fergus Falls.

“It took us some time to wake up and get moving in the beginning of the game,” Willmar head coach Rebekah Cleary said. “The overtime goal by Fergus Falls was an unfortunate goal, as we were so close to stopping it.”

Otters junior Madilynn Budke scored 15 minutes into the match before Cardinals freshman Telilie Lange knotted the game at 1-1 with seven minutes remaining in the match.

Fergus Falls earned the win with a goal in the first overtime half.

Willmar now has a 2-7-1 CLC record. Fergus Falls is 3-4 in the conference.

The Cardinals next play at 10 a.m. Saturday at Becker.

Willmar (2-7-1)................. 0  1  0  0 — 1
Fergus Falls (7-4)............ 1  0  1  0 — 2
FIRST HALF – (1) FF: Madilynn Budke 15th minute
SECOND HALF – (2) W: Telilie Lange 73rd minute
SHOTS ON GOAL – W: 16. FF: 17
GOALIE SAVES – Willmar: Kianna Eichhorst, 15 saves … Fergus Falls: 15 saves

More soccer coverage:
Recent soccer coverage from west central Minnesota.
Willmar junior Idd Ali is named a Central Lakes Conference Performer of the Week after a week in which the Cardinals won three straight games

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