U-14 team making a return trip

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

The Elks U-14 boys are headed to the state tournament Last year they were state champions at the Classic 3 Level. This trip will be a little sweeter because the boys moved up in competition to Classic 2 Level and validated their abilities.

The district playoffs were held in Burnsville and their first game was against Winona, the fourth seeded team. They split the league play with Winona and the boys knew they had to pick it up in order to move on towards their goal. Taking it to the next level is just what they did by totally dominating the entire game. Winona has a few really good players and Albert Lea had our strongest defensive players marking those players the entire game. Winona’s players became exceptionally frustrated because they had just a few opportunities to score only to be shut down by Jordan DeVries in goal. The end result was a 6-0 win. Felipe Ambiz gathered up four points on three goals and one assist. Juan Gonzales, Adam Clark and Jairo Campos tallied the other goals. Oscar Hernandez had two assists while the other assists were awarded to Jared Jensen, Tyler Prihoda, and Andy Harte.

Prior Lake surprised Lakeville, the No. 1 seed, by tying1-1 at the end of regulation and then winning in a five-man shootout. Prior Lake was exceptionally confident going into the championship game against Albert Lea as it had a couple of their best players returning from injury for the district playoff.

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Prior Lake came out strong and dominated play for about the first 10 minutes of a rain and lightning shortened game. Once it was pointed out to the boys what they had to do to overcome Prior Lake’s defensive setup, they controlled the game and were awarded the district champion medals for the 3-0 win. The first half ended 1-0 on a goal by Campos assisted by Ambriz. The boys played almost the entire second half in Prior Lake’s half of the pitch. Ambriz scored both of the second half goals with assists going to Campos and Hernandez.

The midfield play of Nick Tippett, Adam Kermes, Priboda, Jensen, Gonzales, and Hernandez was outstanding as they controlled their portion of the pitch. Stepping up on the defensive portion were defenders Lucas Dang, Cody Knudsen, John Hildreth, Marco Rodriquez, Matt Tiegs, Levi Herrera and Harte. Herrera received special accolades as he moved from midfield to defense and played like he enjoyed his new position. DeVries was awarded two shutouts for his play as he stymied the opponents on the way to the next challenge.

Carilee Squires-Harte, Joe Squires, Dave Squires, and Jake Clark are the coaches of the team.

Next the boys will play in the state tournament starting today. It will be a round robin event of four games. The team with the most points will advance to play the leader from Group B for the state championship.