WILLMAR — Injuries and rain weren’t able to slow down the Willmar boys soccer team on Thursday.
Hosting Sartell in a soggy Central Lakes Conference match at Hodapp Field, the Cardinals moved to 2-0 with a 4-0 victory.
Coming into the game, Willmar was without three starters, according to head coach Jeff Winter. But that didn’t deter the Cardinals as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead. One of those injury fill-ins, sophomore Idd Ali, scored back-to-back goals in the 21st and 22nd minute. Abdullahi Mohamud had the team’s first goal on a penalty kick in the eighth minute. In the second half, Jemil Osman tacked on a goal in the 53rd minute, with goalkeeper Andrew Ziebarth getting an assist on the play.
“It was nice to see the depth of our team,” Winter said. “I was a little concerned (coming in).”
On Ali, Winter added, “He hasn’t been a starter, but he got a lot more game time today and showed me he should be playing.”
Winter added, “All our starters really moved the ball well.”
Among the fill-ins, Winter gave credit to a pair of defenders in Roger Benavides and Wilfredo Chaves.
“Kudos to Roger at center back; we have five defenders that could start and he’s the fifth one,” Winter said. “He stopped in and played great.
“Wilfredo saw his first varsity playing time. We moved him up from JV today since we were down a defender and he played well the last 15 minutes.”
Ziebarth had seven saves for his first shutout of the season.
The Cardinals go on the road Tuesday to face Sauk Rapids. Kickoff is set for 6:15 p.m.
Willmar 4, Sartell 0
Sartell (1-1)................. 0 0 — 0
Willmar (2-0)............... 3 1 — 4
FIRST HALF – W: Abdullahi Mohamud 8th minute PK … W: Idd Ali 21st minute … W: Ali (Mohamud) 22nd minute
SECOND HALF – W: Jemil Osman (Andrew Ziebarth) 53rd minute
SHOTS ON GOAL – Sartell: 8 … Willmar: 15
GOALIE SAVES – Sartell: Billy Vogt (11 saves) … Willmar: Ziebarth (7 saves)