ALEXANDRIA — Looking to cement a spot atop the Central Lakes Conference standings, the Willmar boys soccer team remains undefeated with a win at ninth-ranked (Class AA) Alexandria.
“I thought our kids played outstanding,” said Willmar head coach Jeff Winter. “Solid team play. A lot of guys stood out because we were playing as a team. We moved the ball really well with our passing.”
After a scoreless first half — with Winter crediting Alex goalie Ryan Meuwissen with a pair of high-end saves — Willmar broke through early in the second. After the kickoff, Willmar worked the ball around until Jairon Martinez Coto got an open shot and put the ball in the back of the net at the 42nd minute.
“We talked at halftime that we needed to score early and make a statement,” Winter said.
Martinez Coto struck again at the 62nd minute, with an assist going to Anthony Reyes Jimenez.
“Jairon’s second goal, Anthony passed it diagonally into the box and he one-timed it,” Winter said. “It was just a blast. No goalie was going to stop that shot.”
Willmar goalie Andrew Ziebarth had seven saves on the way to his third shutout victory.
On Thursday, Willmar returns home to face Brainerd in a CLC contest. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Hodapp Field.
Willmar 2, Alexandria 0
Willmar (7-0-0)................. 0 2 — 2
Alexandria (5-1-1)............ 0 0 — 0
FIRST HALF – No goals
SECOND HALF – W: Jairon Martinez Coto (Jemil Osman) 42nd minute … W: Martinez Coto (Anthony Reyes Jimenez) 62nd minute
SHOTS ON GOAL – Willmar: 17 … Alexandria: 7
GOALIE SAVES – Willmar: Ziebarth (7 saves) … Alexandria: Ryan Meuwissen (15 saves)
Little Falls 3
Damon Uhde had four goals and two assists to help lead Minnewaska to the victory over Little Falls at Belle Prairie Township.
Ethan Quelle added three goals and two assists for the Lakers, who were playing Flyers head coach Chris Backhaus, a former Minnewaska assistant.
Backhaus was a Minnewaska assistant for five years to Lakers head coach Ted Hill before taking over the Little Falls program last year.
The Lakers play Thursday at Melrose.