Willmar girls' run ends in Orono
Top-seeded Spartans shut out Cardinals in 6A semis
ORONO — The Willmar girls soccer team’s playoff run came to an end Monday night.
Top-seeded Orono beat the 12th-seeded Cardinals 5-0 in the Section 6A semifinals.
“We’re kind of bummed about the outcome,” Willmar head coach Amanda Broman said. “We played hard.”
Orono scored four first-half goals to earn a berth in the Section 6A final. The Spartans play second-seeded Monticello at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Orono.
Monticello advanced by beating No. 3 Watertown-Mayer 4-1 Monday.
Broman was impressed by Orono.
“They were fast,” Broman said. “They had beautiful touches on the ball and their passes were just perfect.
“They moved like one, cohesive unit. They came out hard. We let a couple of goals in early. They’re the best we’ve seen so far. They were fantastic.”
The loss ended Willmar’s best postseason run in more than a decade. The Cardinals won their first playoff match since 2009 with what was predominantly a young team. Willmar (8-9-3) should have eight returning starters next season.
Five seniors played their last game Monday, including leading scorer Kirah Kessler-Gross, Katelyn Murphy, Madi Linbo, Mya Monson and Jamie Perez.
Broman noted that Kessler-Gross and Linbo were newcomers to the program last season and that her focus will be to help get better numbers in Willmar’s youth travel teams.
“They broke through some barriers and helped give us a glimpse into the future of Willmar soccer,” Broman said.
Orono 5, Willmar 0
Willmar (8-9-2)................. 0 0 — 0
Orono (11-3-3)................. 4 1 — 5
FIRST HALF – O: Reiley Preuter, 7th minute … Madee Sabatier, 12th minute … Nora Couanard, 25th minute … Corinne Field, 31st minute.
SECOND HALF – O: Frankie Fragola, 71st minute.
SHOTS ON GOAL – W: 4. O: 27.
GOALIE SAVES – W: Ella Swenson 22 … O: Claire Gagne 3, Molly Martini 1.