U-14 boys finish on strong note
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 12, 2003
The Albert Lea U-14 boys’ soccer team had a very good season that was topped off with a trip to the MYSA state tournament in Blaine.
The U-14 boys finished league play with a 5-4-0 record, which was good for fourth place. Two of the four losses were by one goal and could have gone either way.
The boys also participated in the Star of the North Games in Rochester at the end of June. Although the U-14 squad is a Classic 3 team, the team participated in the tournament at the Classic 2 level. The team went 0-3 at the tournament, but was very competitive each game against some very good Classic 2 teams from around the state. Even though they didn’t win a game, the coaches felt that it was a confidence booster for the kids, especially the last game when they were tied late in the game with a very good Classic 2 team from Duluth which eventually won the tournament.
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The boys entered the district tournament as a third seed and caught fire, beating Eagan 2-1 the first game and then beating Dakota Rev 4-2 and, finally, Lakeville 3-2 in the finals to earn a trip to state. Both Dakota Rev and Lakeville had beaten Albert Lea in the regular season.
Everyone played their hearts out in the districts and every time the opponents scored, Albert Lea answered. The offense and defense both stepped up their level of play during districts and goalkeeper Adam Hutchison had strong games with several nice saves.
At the state tournament, the team lost its first two games 3-0 and 3-2. The locals finished the tournament with a strong performance, winning against Anoka 4-0. Josh Svendsen scored all four goals in that game.
Although this team accomplished a lot this season with the district championship and trip to state, one of the things the coaches are most pleased with is that they learned to play as a team. When they won, they won as a team; when they lost, they lost as a team.
Members of the U-14 boys’ soccer team included Stephan Bera, Clay Casanova, Matt Clark, Evan Hegwood, Adam Hutchison, Scott Johnson, A.J. Kortz, Nick Koza, Richard Needham, Chris Rahn, Matt Stapleton, Josh Svendsen, Dustin Wangen, Isaac Wiese , Adam Clark and Bryan Yost.
The team was coached by Jay Hutchison and Robert Bera.