Boys Soccer: Wingers pick up 1st conference win
Averaging less than a goal a game, Red Wing boys soccer coach Brian Quigley wanted to shuffle his lineup.
Looking for a more aggressive attack, the first-year head coach moved Alex Rezanzoff and Ryan Rehder to the front, and put Dylan Goggin and Angel Fernandez to the middle to help push the ball up in a hurry.
Though the Wingers haven't had a chance to use the new-look offense for a full game, the team showed promise on the offensive end Tuesday with a 3-1 Missota Conference victory over New Prague in Red Wing.
"We moved myself and Alex to forward, which is what we've wanted to do all year," Rehder said. "That's been working out pretty good so far."
The victory was Red Wing's first in the Missota this year after going winless in its first five conference matches.
With two teams vying for their first conference win Tuesday, the Trojans (1-13, 0-6 Missota) opened up things in a hurry and gave the Wingers (5-6-1, 1-4-1 Missota) a wake-up call. Just 2 minutes, 17 seconds into the match, New Prague got on the board when Hayden Girard popped a free kick over Wingers goalkeeper Preston Blaney for the quick 1-0 advantage.
"There was a little miscommunication with our goalie. Preston hasn't played a lot of time this year," Quigley said.
"We kind of had a little faux pas at the beginning," Quigley added. "But at the end, they got it all figured out."
It took Red Wing just over seven minutes to respond, when Fernandez got a free kick opportunity of his own. The sophomore midfielder booted the ball over the reach of Trojans goalie Zach Jones to tie the match.
"Angel's been taking really good free kicks for most of the year," Quigley said. "It's not too much of a surprise that he scored another one."
For the rest of the half, the Wingers kept up the offensive pressure, but had nothing to show for it. Nine minutes into the second half, Fernandez set Red Wing up for another prime opportunity after being awarded a penalty shot.
Instead of Fernandez, Rehder took the shot and beat Jones to put Red Wing up 2-1. To Rehder, it was a playful bit of payback for his teammate.
"In the tournament at Lake City, I got a penalty and I let Angel take it and he missed," Rehder said. "So he could have had this one, but I said I was taking it for him. I got it in and I was pretty excited."
With 17 minutes left to go in the game, the Wingers notched one more goal when a kick by Jacob Zebro just snuck over the goal line for the 3-1 advantage.
The three goals were the most Red Wing has scored since last season, when they beat New Prague 4-1 on Sept. 29, 2011.
Closing out the regular season Thursday against Chanhassen, Quigley and the rest of the Wingers lineup hope the offensive momentum can carry over as the team preps for Section 1A play.
"All the kids are really excited about (the new offense)," Quigley said. "They were excited to play in this game with the new lineup, and we really want to see what we can do with a full offensive attack against Chanhassen."