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Boys Soccer: Wingers drop Big Nine opener

Red Wing's Joppa Olone weaves through the midfield during the Wingers' season-opener against Mankato East at Red Wing High School. Red Wing lost the match, 5-1. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)1 / 2
Red Wing senior Carson Anderson (left) sets up a centering pass as Mankato East's Blake Hardesty closes in on defense during the first half of Thursday's Big Nine Conference game at Red Wing High School. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)2 / 2

Red Wing was given a rude awakening into the Big Nine Conference on Thursday.

Opening the 2014 season against Mankato East, the Wingers fell behind 3-0 within the first 12 minutes in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Cougars.

Still trying to fine-tune its offense, Red Wing got caught a couple times by Mankato East, with attackers Ben Schwartz and Amin Daees doing the damage.

“Mankato East is a good team in the Big Nine,” said Wingers’ head coach Brian Quigley. “We played with them most of the game and just had a couple minor breakdowns, and that’ll happen when you’re trying new formations.”

In the seventh minute, Schwartz came up with a takeaway and slid the ball past Red Wing goalkeeper Jacob Langer for the first score. Then in a 61-second span, Daees popped in a pair of goals to make it a 3-0 Mankato East advantage.

Facing a three-goal disadvantage, Red Wing was finally able to settle down and control play on the offensive end. At the 18-minute mark, the Wingers’ perseverance paid off as Zach Rademacher got open and scored the team’s first goal of the season. Kaden Erie was awarded an assist on the play.

“That’s what we were looking for: a one-on-one opportunity,” Quigley said. “We needed to bury one in the back of the net and Zach was able to do that for us.”

Quigley continued, ““Once we started to figure it out, and before we got ourselves too tired, we did play with them and started tipping the tides toward our side.”

With less than six minutes left in the first half, Schwartz had a shot blocked by Langer, but corralled the deflection and put the ball in the net to make it 4-1.

Daees put in his third goal of the game at the 72nd minute, beating Payton Anderson for the final score of the game.

The Wingers (0-1) will return to action Tuesday with a road trip to Winona. 

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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