For the first 35 minutes of Tuesday's Missota Conference match with Academy of Holy Angels, the Red Wing boys soccer team went shot-for-shot with the Stars.
But in the span of 50 seconds, Holy Angels dashed the Wingers' hopes for their first conference win with a quick pair of goals en route to a 5-0 victory at Red Wing High School.
"We knew they were going to be a tough team and we came in hoping we'd be able to play with them," said Red Wing head coach Brian Quigley. "We went out and played a good, hard amount in the first half, but we kind of coasted at the end. I have a few kids battling some injuries, so I was shuffling the lineup around."
With 4 minutes, 41 seconds left in the first half, the Stars' Sam VanderAarde knocked a header into the net, beating Wingers goalkeeper Andy Tarr to break the scoreless game open. Then at 3:51, VanderAarde found the back of the net again after he corralled a loose ball and shot it into the goal for the 2-0 advantage.
Giving up goals in bunches has been an issue the Wingers have tried to fix all season.
"We talked at halftime about how when we get scored on, we go on our heels and panic a little bit," Quigley said. "It's hurt us in a couple games. We get multiple goals on us very quickly and we need to recover, which is an issue we've been dealing with."
Up 2-0 at the half, Holy Angels didn't take long to showcase its offense in the second half, when Lucas Ciabattoni made it a 3-0 game. Ciabattoni hit a low shot that was slowed down by Tarr, but had enough momentum to roll into the net for the score.
Then in the 50th minute, Shon Jordan broke free for a breakaway goal to put the Stars up 4-0 with over 30 minutes remaining.
"They kept themselves going (in the second half)," Quigley said of Holy Angels, "and they're definitely able to score.
"Andy put up a great game today," Quigley added. "He did everything he could."
With 5:58 remaining in the contest, Hugh Bemhagen put in the Stars' final goal, beating Red Wing backup goalie Preston Blainey for the 5-0 advantage.
The Wingers (5-5-1, 0-3-1 Missota) will try to rebound Thursday on the road against Northfield.