It would be a challenge to find a start more impressive than the one Monticello boys soccer has put together in 2017.
Monti, coming off a season in which they captured the second conference championship in program history, seems to be picking up right where they left off. The Magic have rolled to four straight wins, including two against section opponents, and have yet to allow a goal against. They’ve outscored opponents by a total margin of 13-0.
Last Thursday night, Monti rolled past Becker 8-0 in front of a good crowd at the brand-new Monticello Memorial Stadium.
Monti scored four goals in each half to distance themselves from the Bulldogs.
Senior captain David Frickel got the scoring started. Following Monti’s second consecutive corner kick opportunity, the Magic were able to keep the ball deep in their end, and eventually work it to Frickel at the top of the box. The senior took advantage of a little space and buried a kick past the Becker goaltender.
Just two minutes later Jacob Keller scored on a long-range bomb off the inside of the right post and the rout was on.
Elmer Escobar added the third goal and Frickel scored his second goal of the half in the waning seconds to put Monti in front 4-0. Keller would add two more goals in the second to complete a hat trick effort and pace Monti’s lopsided victory.
Jesus Espinoza and Bailey Geyen-Helget also scored in the contest for Monticello, while defenseman Tyler Anderson recorded three assists.
Coach Matt McLachlan said the game was good proof of Monti’s improved offensive depth and balance.
“When we start to depend on multiple players, we’re so much harder to defend at that point,” he said.
As far as Monti’s ability to defend, it has been top notch in the early going. Monti has shut out Delano, Willmar, Robbinsdale Cooper, and the Bulldogs to start the season.
McLachlan said the success has been a good mix of strong goalkeeping from senior Jacob Johnson and solid defense.
“They both play well at points. Jacob saves when he needs to save, and they clear the trash when they need to clear the trash,” said McLachlan. “That’s what you want to see.”
Monticello’s schedule is set to get a bit more challenging in the next couple of weeks. Monti has Big Lake at home at 7 p.m. tonight, followed by St. Michael-Albertville at home at 7 p.m. next Tuesday. The big test looming is a showdown with Orono on Saturday, Sept. 16 – the Spartans are currently the No. 1 team in Class A.
“That will definitely be a good measuring stick for us,” said McLachlan.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]