Central comes short of the prize but not done


Prep Sports Notebook By MATTHEW DAVIS

Central boys soccer coach David Albornoz doesn’t see his team’s trip to the Class 2A state semifinals at US Bank Stadium Oct. 31 as a one-hit wonder.

He hopes to see his program back at the Vikings stadium the next two seasons as he had freshmen playing in the Oct. 31 loss to defending state runner-up Stillwater, 2-1. The Minutemen beat the Ponies earlier in the year on a penalty kick after a 3-3 tie in late August.

“This is not a one-time deal; we want to keep showing up,” Albornoz said. “As I told the boys … they have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Central, which came into the semifinal game unbeaten at 18-0-1 struck first with when senior midfielder Aiden Cavanaugh put the Minutemen up 1-0 in the second half. The first half had been a defensive deadlock.

The Minutemen held the lead for six minutes until Ponies sophomore attack Gora Gora knotted the game at 1-1 with a goal. Ponies senior attack Spencer Scott then stunned the Minutemen with a goal kick immediately after setting the ball, which put the Ponies ahead 2-1.

Albornoz said “we weren’t even ready” when Scott kicked the ball. Minutemen junior goalkeeper Owen Brooks couldn’t get to the ball in time as it sailed to the left of him into the net.

Owen, who had a 16-0 record in goal going into the game, is among the key players who could be back for the Minutemen next fall. Midfielder Max Hand, who led the team in assists, and forward Makatar Yarrow, who had three goals and four assists before state, also have another season left of eligibility.

Central graduates leading scorer Daniel Barrett, a senior forward who had 14 goals and seven assists coming into the tournament. Fellow senior Mac Staloch had seven goals and ten assists at midfielder.

Central finished its season with the third place game against Minnetonka Nov. 2.

The Minutemen went unbeaten for the regular season and won the St. Paul City Conference with a perfect mark. They won the Class 2A Section title with a 1-0 win over Eastview Oct. 16, capping a tournament where the Minutemen didn’t allow any goals.

Central beat St. Cloud Tech 6-1 on Oct. 25 in St. Cloud to open the state tournament and reach US Bank Stadium for the semifinals.


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