Sergio shoots holes in Owatonna soccer defense

Sports Editor

Following a perplexing loss to the Edina Hornets in a Lake Conference boys soccer match Sept. 7, Minnetonka came out and beat Owatonna 6-1 on Skipper Soccer Saturday two days later.

Sergio Rivas (10) of the Minnetonka High boys soccer team finds a way to shake Edina defender Nathan Clifford during a 2-1 Edina victory Sept. 7.

Junior midfielder Sergio Rivas pumped up Minnetonka’s spirits with his first career hat trick, while senior Johnluke Nahorski added to the attack with two goals.

“We took care of business on Saturday,” said Minnetonka head coach Mike Rogers, whose club improved to 6-2-0 at the halfway point of the regular season. “We just dominated the match.”

In addition to the goals from Rivas and Nahorski, Minnetonka scored on a penalty kick by Max Honebrink.

Junior Luke Vereecken and senior Tommy Bennett each played a half in goal for the Skippers, while senior captain Nick Wilson led a strong defensive effort on the back line.

“The girls kicked off Soccer Saturday with a great crowd at their game,” said Rogers. “And a lot of their fans stayed for the boys game.

“We wanted to make a statement on Saturday because we were frustrated with Thursday night’s 2-1 loss to Edina. I thought we had the better of the play that night.”

Noah Chung scored for Minnetonka, while senior captain Matt Lindberg scored both Edina goals. On his first goal, Lindberg knocked in the rebound of his own penalty kick against Vereecken. His second goal was a 30-yard laser from just outside the box with only two minutes remaining in the second half.

“Edina is a really good opponent,” said Rogers. “It was a great Lake Conference soccer match, and I can’t wait to play Edina at our place later in the season. We have a special group of players this year. There was a concern that we might not score as many goals this year, but we’re scoring quite a few. A lot of our younger players have stepped up, and we’re playing well in the back.”

Minnetonka’s next challenge could be the biggest of the season. The Skippers are scheduled to play Wayzata at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, on Minnetonka’s Field of Dreams.

“The Lake is by far the best conference in the state,” said Rogers. “Wayzata is another great team, and it is always fun to renew my friendship with their coach, Dominic Duenas.”

Wayzata played two tough Lake matches last week, tying Edina 1-1 and beating Hopkins 4-3. The Trojans stand 5-0-1 this season.

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