Typically, not much can be gained from routing an overmatched opponent. But for the Magic, there was one important lesson to learn as they cruised past PACT Charter 11-0 in the opening round of section play.
“The one thing that I really hope we took out of this is that we can score multiple goals in one game,” said Coach Brent Wuollet.
Overall, it was a successful season for the Magic. They went 7-6-3. They earned a couple of big wins. They finished tied for second in conference, which matches the highest they’ve ever finished. And they earned a number three seed in a 15-team section. But they have an Achilles heel, and that’s scoring goals in bunches, and sometimes scoring goals at all. Four of the Magic’s losses came because they were shut out, and all three of their ties came from 0-0 affairs.
But at the same time, Monticello knows they have the talent to score goals. They’ve done it against quality opponents. They have proven goal scorers in Lealah Abraham and Cody Romer. And, they have the benefit of not having to score that much.
Backing up the offense is one of the best defenses around. Spearheaded by Danielle Gau, the defense is fast and fearless, breaking up a lot of plays near the back end. And when they let something by, not to worry. Perhaps the strongest member of the team remains, goaltender Kallie Gau. If the Magic are to make a run through these section playoffs, they’ll need Gau to perform at an all-star level, something she has proven capable of.
“We’re just so lucky to have a goalkeeper like Kallie,” said Wuollet. “She just takes so much pressure off the defense. They can make occasional mistakes, because they have somebody back there that can take away those mistakes.”
Gau, her stingy defense, and a currently rolling offense will get their next test, and their first real one of sections when they play host to Heritage Christian Academy this Saturday at 1 p.m. Heritage, the sixth seed, is coming off a 5-0 win over Minneapolis Edison in the first round. On paper, Monticello looks like the better team. But Wuollet knows the games aren’t played on paper. It wasn’t that many years ago that Heritage was the team that knocked off an unsuspecting Magic team, ending their season early.
“We ‘re taking it one game at a time,” said Wuollet, before admitting that they might have one eye on the next potential game.
That game would come in the semifinals, against the second-seed Park Center.
Less than two weeks ago, Park Center handled Monticello 6-0.
“We laid an egg,” said Wuollet, flatly.
Now the Magic want another chance. They want a chance to prove they are at Park Center’s level, and that the game they played in the first matchup was no indication of who they really are.
“We know that we have the ability,” said Wuollet. “We just have to go out and prove it.”
If the Magic are going to get their rematch, and take advantage of it, they’ll rely heavily on a group of seniors that played a large role in getting the Magic to the section championship last year (a run that included a shootout win over Park Center).
“The seniors, as a group, need to be the ones to step up,” said Wuollet. “They’ve been there before, they know what to expect, they’re the ones that need to carry the load for us.”
Magic beat PACT 11-0
Monticello scored six first-half goals, and got two goal performances from Cody Romer and Gabby Laimer, as they cruised to an 11-0 opening round victory against an overmatched PACT Charter Tuesday night.
Monticello will host Heritage Christian Academy at 1 p.m. Saturday.