Soccer Roundup: Cards lose their opener
St. Cloud Apollo beats host Willmar, 3-1
WILLMAR — In front of a socially-distant crowd of roughly 125 people, the Willmar boys soccer team struggled to create offense in its season-opening match.
The Cardinals fell to St. Cloud Apollo 3-1 in Thursday’s Central Lakes Conference contest from Hodapp Field.
“Overall, I thought we played a very solid game despite the scoring,” Willmar head coach Jeff Winter said. “Apollo was good, not to take anything away from them because they were big, strong, fast. But, I thought we played right with them, especially in the first 10-15 minutes. Then, the tide shifted and I’m not sure why.”
The visitors struck first near the midway point of the first half. Following a Willmar turnover, a pass upfield sprung Erastus Antsino open on the right wing. Despite Cardinals goalkeeper Leighton Winter moving up the box in an attempt to take away the angle, Antsino squirted a grounder by the goalie to open the scoring in the 18th minute.
Willmar’s best chance to equalize came just before halftime. Off a corner kick, senior Dahir Mohamed stood in the middle of the box and delivered a goal toward goal, but Eagles keeper Calvin Walters made a diving stop.
Two minutes into the second half, Apollo extended to a 2-0 lead on a goal from Abdulle Arab.
With eight minutes remaining, Willmar finally put one behind the net when Dahir Mohamed finished an assist from Jairo Martinez Coto. However, with the time ticking in the match, the Eagles took advantage of a Cardinals misplay.
Looking to clear the ball to the midfield, Winter gave the ball away. Instead, Arab added a tap-in goal in the 77th minute to seal the victory.
Apollo outshot Willmar 10-7. Winter finished with seven saves. Walters had six stops.
The Cardinals next play 7 p.m. Tuesday at St. Cloud Tech.
St. Cloud Apollo 3,
St. Cloud Apollo (1-0-0).... 1 2 — 3
Willmar (0-1-0)................... 0 1 — 1
FIRST HALF – A: Erastus Antsino 18th minute
SECOND HALF – A: Abdulle Arab 42nd minute.... W: Dahir Mohamed (Jairon Martinez Coto) 72nd minute .... A: Abdulle Arab 77th minute
SHOTS ON GOAL – Apollo: 10 .... Willmar: 7
GOALIE SAVES – Apollo: Calvin Walters 6 … Willmar: Leighton Winter 7
DEFENSIVE SAVES – Willmar: 1
Immanuel Lutheran 3
Luke Taylor tallied three goals to help lead Community Christian School of Willmar past Immanuel Lutheran in a Christian Athletic League game at Mankato.
Landon Holmgren had two goals and Will Chapin one goal and two assists for the Eagles, who got eight saves in goal from Juan Ramirez and Max Arnold, who split duties.
Community Christian (2-0-0)................... 3 3 — 6
Immanuel Lutheran…………................... 1 2 — 3
St. Cloud Apollo 1
On the road for the season-opener, a pair of first-half goals gave Willmar the push it needed to beat St. Cloud Apollo.
“It was really good to start off with a win. The girls are happy to end up on top of this game,” said Cardinals head coach Amanda Broman. “We’re still finding our groove with this team. We have a little room to grow with the new identity we have and we started to find our footing at the end.”
Willmar’s first goal came at the 16th minute courtesy of Ellary Lange, with an assist from Sam Christoffer. Ten minutes later, Christoffer got a goal of her own, converting on a cross by Lange and an assist from Abby Coquyt.
The Cardinals will have their home debut at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hodapp Field against St. Cloud Tech.
Willmar (1-0-0)................... 2 0 — 2
St. Cloud Apollo (0-1-0).... 0 1 — 1
FIRST HALF – W: Ellary Lange (Sam Christoffer) 16th minute … W: Christoffer (Abby Coquet) 26th minute
SECOND HALF – SCA: Name unavailable 65th minute
SHOTS ON GOAL – Willmar: 12 … Apollo: N/A
GOALIE SAVES – Willmar: Ella Swenson 7 saves … Apollo: Name unavailable