Boys Soccer: Red Wing nets first home playoff win
Tuesday night in Red Wing was rather comfortable. There was a strong, steady wind, but the air was dry and 70 degrees.
But after the Wingers beat Faribault 6-1 in the first round of the boys Section 1A soccer tournament, Red Wing head coach Brian Quigley turned his back to the breeze, teeth clicking through his full-body shiver.
Quigley was doused in ice water, and the wind was making the coach feel as though he was standing on a field in December. The Wingers, cackling at their deed, stood off to the side, still relishing in the first home playoff victory in school history.
“It’s huge for the program,” Quigley said. “It’s the first home section game, and that’s a goal we set last year.”
The Wingers, the No. 6 seed in the section, were seeded ninth last year. Quigley though his team could move up at least one spot, into the top eight, to get that home game.
“That was our biggest goal,” Quigley said. “And, on top of that, to get a win, we couldn’t be happier.”
For a while during Tuesday’s game, it appeared the Wingers might have to fight a little harder than anticipated as the Falcons held Red Wing to one goal in the first half, a Zach Rademacher shot from about 10 yards out. This, on the heels of a 10-3 Wingers’ victory over the Falcons a couple weeks ago, was a marked difference for both squads.
“Last time we played them, they played an offside trap, so we were able to exploit their (defense) no problem,” said Red Wing junior captain Dylan Goggin. “Today, they pulled back a little bit so we had to readjust because we were coming in thinking we could get that through ball again.”
Instead, the Wingers were forced wide to the corners. That enabled the Falcons to keep the game close, even though offensive chances were few and far between for Faribault.
And once Red Wing figured out how to attack the Falcons, the floodgates opened.
Goggin scored what would be the eventual game-winner with 33 minutes, 21 seconds left in the game on a perfect feed from Jacob Zebro.
“It was really nice,” Goggin said. “I was calling for the ball from Jacob, coming across the slot. It’s been there all year and Jacob’s hit me up a couple times. That time I got the ball and knew I wanted to get a shot. It happened to play out that I was able to place the shot that I wanted it to be. Everything worked out well.”
Faribault followed Goggin’s goal with their only tally of the game. Aden Osman kicked the ball into the net at the end of a scramble caused when Red Wing keeper Andy Tarr stopped a point-blank shot on a Falcons three-on-one.
There was a little bit more pressure from Faribault after that, but Teagan Olin’s tap-in shot on a cross-box feed from Kaden Erie seemed to take all the air out of the Falcons with 16:57 to go in the game.
Carson Anderson would add a 40-yard goal that was placed just under the cross bar 10 minutes later, Erie added his own goal – and a nice birthday present to himself – at 6:41, then Tyler DeFore closed the scoring at 2:34.
The final three goals were all well-placed shots that came far enough out that Quigley could only smile. Even a few shots from 20 yards that did not go in were enough to get the coach clapping.
“We’ve had issues with that for the last two years,” Quigley said, adding that too often he sees players looking for the perfect play. “That never happens in real soccer. To get them to start taking shots from 20-30 yards out, where they know they have the leg to do so, they’re accurate enough to make it happen, that’s where we’ll see true success happen.”
Red Wing (8-7-0) will face a stiffer test Thursday when they travel to third-seeded Byron (8-3-4). The Wingers beat the Bears 4-1 on Sept. 14, but Quigley is expecting a tougher match.
“Now, being the lower seed, we have nothing to lose. I told (the team), ‘Let’s do some upsetting and show the section that we’re here and ready to play.’”
Thursday’s quarterfinal match will kickoff at 7 p.m. at Byron Middle School.