WILLMAR — In the public eye, the Willmar Cardinals boys soccer team seemed to be playing nearly perfect on Thursday.

Willmar won 8-0 over Southwest Minnesota Christian at Hodapp Field, with seniors Abdullahi Mohamud and Anthony Reyes Jimenez both scoring two goals against the Eagles.

Cardinals’ coach Jeffrey Winter thought otherwise.

“A win is a win and I liked a lot of our play, but there were times where we made some sloppy mistakes that we’ll have to focus on,” Winter said. “Hopefully they come into (Friday’s) practice with a positive attitude and ready to work.”

Thursday’s weather conditions were nearly perfect for soccer. The sun perfectly illuminated the grass field in the cloudless sky, with only a slight breeze coming through every so often.

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In the beautiful weather conditions, and starting the season with back-to-back victories, Willmar seemed comfortable on its home field.

Willmar senior midfielder Abdullahi Muhumed scored two goals and earned an assist against Southwest Minnesota Christian on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune
Willmar senior midfielder Abdullahi Muhumed scored two goals and earned an assist against Southwest Minnesota Christian on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune

Senior midfielder Jemil Osman found the back of the net nearly two minutes into the first period on an assist by Mohamud to begin the match.

Mohamud went on to score his first goal in the match at the 20-minute mark followed by Jimenez minutes after.

Seconds after reaching the 24th minute mark, senior midfielder Alan Millan scored on a penalty kick and sophomore Isaac Zelaya Velasquez scored the final goal of the first half at 36:59.

At halftime, the Cardinals possessed a comfortable 5-0 lead.

Heading into the second half, Willmar returned to the field with the indication that the job was not yet completed.

Willmar senior defender Jordy Contreras began the second-half scoring spree with a goal three minutes in.

Mohamud scored his second goal in the 68th minute followed by Jimenez moments after.

Willmar senior Anthony Reyes Jimenez scored two of the Cardinals' eight goals on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 against Southwest Minnesota Christian. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune
Willmar senior Anthony Reyes Jimenez scored two of the Cardinals' eight goals on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 against Southwest Minnesota Christian. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune

Despite taking a blowout victory, Winter told his players there were adjustments that needed to be made heading into Saturday’s battle against Princeton.

“We got to work on getting some confidence in the back, because your back four is like the backbone of the team,” Winter said. “I think we’ve got to work on some fundamentals, getting some touches on the ball, traps and passes and just more repetition of what they know they can do.”

Winter noted his team’s offensive abilities. They out-shot the Eagles 26-6.

“I thought that we had spurts of nice control and passing a good portion of the game,” he said. “We got in and executed our plan getting in deep and dropping the ball back for shots.”

Willmar next plays at 2 p.m. Saturday at Princeton. It’s a match-up of Section 6AA teams.

Willmar sophomore Idd Ali takes a side kick against Southwest Minnesota Christian on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune
Willmar sophomore Idd Ali takes a side kick against Southwest Minnesota Christian on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune
Cardinals' Jairon Martinez Coto attempts to push past a Southwest Minnesota Christian defender in the Cardinals' 8-0 victory on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune
Cardinals' Jairon Martinez Coto attempts to push past a Southwest Minnesota Christian defender in the Cardinals' 8-0 victory on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune



Willmar 8,

Southwest Minnesota Christian 0

Southwest Minnesota Christian (2-3-1)................. 0 0 — 0
Willmar (4-0)............................................................ 5 3 — 8
FIRST HALF – (1) W: Jemil Osman (Abdullahi Mohamud) 2nd minute … (2) W: Mohamud 20th minute … (3) W: Anthony Reyes Jimenez (Osman) 22nd minute … (4) W: Alan Millan 24th minute … (5) W: Isaac Zelaya Velasquez (Jairon Martinez Coto) 36th minute.
SECOND HALF – (6) W: Jordy Contreras (I. Zelaya Velsaquez) 43rd minute … (7) W: Mohamud (Ivan Mares-Ciriaco) 65th minute … (*) A. Reyes Jimenez (Reyes Jimenez) 70th minute.
SHOTS ON GOAL – SWC 6; W 26

GOALIE SAVES – Southwest Minnesota Christian: Jarett Kuipers (18) … Willmar: Andrew Ziebarth (6)

Cathedral 4, Minnewaska 0

Braden Lemke, Connor Drong, Chandler Hendriks and Matthew Winfeld all scored goals for St. Cloud Cathedral in its victory over Minnewaska at Glenwood.

“We played well, but I believe they’re the best team in Section 8 this year,” Minnewaska head coach Ted Hill said. “I’d like to think we’re the second-best team, but we’ll see.”

Minnewaska next plays at noon Saturday at Pelican Rapids.



St. Cloud Cathedral (3-0)................. 2 2 — 4
Minnewaska (2-2)............................. 0 0 — 0
FIRST HALF – (1) C: Braden Lemke (Connor Drong) 8th minute … (2) C: Drong 19th minute.
SECOND HALF – (3) C: Chandler Hendriks (Lemke) 43rd minute … (4) C: Matthew Winfeld (Zach Plante) 55th minute.
SHOTS ON GOAL – C: 9; M: 8

GOALIE SAVES – Cathedral: Palmer Minette (8 saves) … Minnewaska: Hunter Kloos (5 saves)