WILLMAR — If there was any concern about the Willmar boys soccer team being ready for the playoffs, it was allayed rather quickly Saturday.
The top-seeded Cardinals scored early and often against eighth-seeded Big Lake, beating the Hornets, 13-0.
It was a first-round Section 6AA match at Hodapp Field.
“I was definitely pleased,” Willmar head coach Jeff Winter said. “The No. 1 thing we were concerned about was having everybody ready to go.
“We were definitely ready. We scored four goals in the first five minutes, though they were all called back for being off-sides. Once we got that figured out, it went really well.”
Willmar plays Rockford/Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Hodapp Field in the Section 6AA semifinals.
Fourth-seeded Rockford/HLWW advanced with a 4-1 victory over No. 5 Becker on Saturday.
The other semifinal has No. 3 Monticello playing at 5 p.m. Tuesday at No. 2 Princeton. Monticello beat No. 6 St. Francis 4-0 and Princeton beat No. 7 Zimmerman 3-0.
The final is set for Thursday at a neutral site, with the time to be determined. Willmar last made the state tournament in 2016 and also qualified in 2008.
Rockford/HLWW has never been to state, nor has Princeton. Monticello made the state tournament in 2014.
Against Big Lake, the Cardinals played all 22 athletes on the roster. Willmar moved players into different positions and got everyone significant playing time, including most of the second half. Senior goalkeeper Edwin Lopez played the entire second half, making two saves.
“It was nice to see these guys get some time,” Winter said.
Jordy Contreras scored three goals to lead the Cardinals, as did Abdullahi Mohamud. Contreras also learned that he is a top-five finalist for the Mr. Soccer Award, Winter said.
Jairon Martinez Coto, Isaac Zelaya Velasquez and Miguel Ulloa all scored two goals for Willmar and Idd Ali had one.
“The other thing I was pleased with was that Willmar has a tendency to play to the level of the team they’re playing,” Winter said. “We were a little worried we might not be completely ready to go playing an eighth seed. But we got going quickly.”
Willmar 13, Big Lake 0
Big Lake (2-10-3)................. 0 0 — 0
Willmar (15-0-2)................... 9 4 — 13
FIRST HALF – (1) W: Abudallhi Mohamud (Diego Gonzalez) 6th minute … (2) W: Jairon Martinez Coto (Gonzalez) 16th minute … (3) W: Martinez Coto (Kadar Muhumed) 18th minute … (4) W: Jordy Contreras (Jemil Osman) 18th minute … (5) W: Mohamud (Osman) 19th minute … (6) W: Isaac Zelaya Velasquez (Osman) 25th minute … (7) W: Mohamud (I. Zelaya Velasquez) 28th minute … (8) W: Contreras, 33rd minute … (9) W: I. Zelaya Velasquez (Muhumed) 39th minute
SECOND HALF – (10) W: Contreras, 59th minute … (11) W: Miguel Ulloa (Martinez Coto) 64th minute … (12) W: Ulloa (Gonzalez) 69th minute … (13) W: Idd Ali (Osman) 79th minute.
SHOTS ON GOAL – BL: 3. W: 16
GOALIE SAVES – Big Lake: Austin Brethorst, 3 saves … Willmar: Andrew Ziebarth (first half, 40 minutes), 1 save; Edwin Lopez (2nd half, 40 minutes), 2 saves.
St. Cloud Cathedral 2
Minnewaska 1 (OT)
St. Cloud Cathedral eliminated Minnewaska in the Section 8A tournament by winning the shootout 4-2 Saturday at St. Cloud’s Whitney Field.
Cathedral, the top seed in the East, advances to play Pelican Rapids at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Sauk Centre for the section championship and a berth in the state Class A tournament.
Minnewaska, which got a goal in regulation from Damon Uhde, was the third seed in the East.
Pelican Rapids won the Section 8A-West title by beating Hillcrest Lutheran 5-2 on Saturday.
Minnewaska (8-6)............................... 0 1 0 — 1
St. Cloud Cathedral (14-2)................. 0 1 0 — 1
FIRST HALF – No scoring
SECOND HALF – (1) M: Damon Uhde (Blake Nelson) … (2) C: Chandler Hendricks (Matthew Windfeldt)
OVERTIME – No scoring
CCS 5, Immanuel Lutheran 0
Will Chapin and Eduardo Montejano each had two goals to help lead Community Christian School to the Christian Athletic League victory over Immanuel Lutheran at Willmar.
Chapin also had an assist. Landon Holmgren added a goal and an assist for the Eagles, who also got an assist from Mark Arnold.
Juan Ramirez made three saves in goal to earn the shutout.