Monticello entered Tuesday night’s section semifinal with Totino-Grace playing some of their best soccer of the year. The Magic were coming off opening section victories of 10-0 and 5-1. They knew it would take their best effort to knock off the second-seeded Eagles, but they thought they had it in them.
Quickly, that all changed.
Totino-Grace got on the board just two minutes into Tuesday night’s game, and things quickly unraveled for the Magic.
“That just set the tone for the half,” said Coach Brent Wuollet. “We played badly.”
Wuollet said the Magic struggled to possess the ball and to do the little things that had helped turn the team with a rough regular season into a formidable postseason opponent.
Totino-Grace took advantage, leading 3-0 at the half.
After a halftime talk about getting back to fundamentals and playing the way they were supposed to, the Magic put together a competitive second half, being outscored just 1-0.
“We played better in the second half,” said Wuollet. “But the damage was done.”
Wuollet said it isn’t the first time that type of inconsistency has hurt the Magic.
“That’s one of the things that has plagued us all year long,” he said.
The biggest bright spot from the game, according to Wuollet, was the play of freshman Alayna Maher. Playing at sweeper, Maher helped keep the score from being worse.
“She was busy all night long,” said Wuollet. “She worked her butt off and stopped a lot of opportunities they would’ve otherwise had.”
Monticello earned their bid in the section semifinal with two straight dominating wins.
In the opening round of section play, the third-seeded Magic cruised past Patrick Henry, 10-0.
“We did what we should’ve done,” said Wuollet. “To be able to put up 10 goals in a game was a good confidence boost for the girls.”
Mac Johnson finished the game with three assists for the Magic, while Amanda Lawrence, Jamie Anderson and Alyssa Laumann each recorded two goals.
In the quarterfinals, Monticello beat Fridley 5-1.
The game was tied 1-1 at the half, thanks to a beautiful Ashlee Cox header for an early goal, but with the wind at their back in the second half, Monticello took control.
The Magic scored the go-ahead goal early in the second half and begin to roll from there.
Five different players scored goals for the Magic, with Lawrence recording two assists during the game.
Tuesday night marks the third straight time that Totino-Grace has ended Monticello’s season, with the two prior both coming in the section finals.
The Magic finish the season with a record of 7-11-1.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at email@example.com