Lilly leads Eskomos in midseason push
It’s no secret that Caitlin Lilly can score a soccer ball.
But Tuesday night at Two Harbors the Esko senior forward was picture-perfect. Literally.
“She took four shots and all four went in,” said Esko-Carlton Coach Nicki Peterson. “They were all solid goals.”
Lilly’s quartet of netters was more than enough to lead the Eskomos past the Agates 6-1 on an eerie-like, foggy nightcap under the lights.
In just nine games this fall, Lilly has carried the Eskomos (6-3) with 15 goals on a mere 33 shots, including a torrid nine goals in her past three affairs. She’s got three assists, too.
“She’s just doing what seniors do,” said Peterson of her go-to striker. “She’s stepping up and wants to make things happen. She’s playing at a higher level than I can image.”
But really, so are the rest of the seniors.
Peterson said fellow senior midfielder Alyssa Rodlund – who also scored Tuesday night – as well as senior defensemen Sarah Juntunen, Katyanna Emanuel and goalkeeper Rachel Ofstie have been leaders this fall.
“We got some great senior performances from all of them tonight,” Peterson added. “They’re all bringing it to the next level.”
Junior midfielder Hillary Anderson also scored Tuesday, while sophomore forward Kadee Karkkainen added a netter to Lilly’s hat trick Saturday in the Eskomos’ 4-0 defeat of visiting Zimmerman. The win was Ofstie’s third shutout of the season.
But it was a 3-2 defeat at Hermantown last Thursday that got the team’s attention. Trailing by three at the break, Lilly’s pair of goals weren’t enough to overcome the Eskomos’ lackluster start.
“We didn’t get much going at Hermantown and didn’t put together a full 80 minutes of soccer,” Peterson said. “But I think we’ve learned from it. We realized that there are a lot of tough teams in our section. And it’s not our section to lose, but ours to win.”
Esko-Carlton next welcomes Duluth Marshall to Les Knuti Memorial Field Thursday at 4:30 p.m., and will then travel to Duluth East Monday for another nightcap at 7 p.m.
Inconsistent Cloquet girls win, and lose
Just when things were looking bright for the Cloquet girls soccer team, they took another tumble Tuesday night.
On a rainy, dreary evening, the visiting Lumberjacks came out flat and couldn’t finish in a devastating 3-2 overtime loss at
Hibbing-Chisholm netted two goals within the opening 15 minutes and took that 2-0 lead into halftime. Cloquet sophomore Becca Hammond scored her first goal of the year and fellow sophomore Maija Doran struck her team-leading fifth goal to knot things up in the second, sending it into extra time.
In OT, Hibbing-Chisholm’s Samantha Argir scored her second goal of the game in the fourth minute to send Cloquet (3-5) on a long bus ride home.
“They got us off the bus right away,” said Cloquet Coach Dustin Randall of the Bluejackets’ quick start. “They controlled it, but we came back. Then in overtime, they just got a ball through and poked it in. I’m not disappointed; I thought we moved the ball well. We just have to get physically and mentally tougher and finish a full game.”
Cloquet’s last victory came Thursday in 7-0 rout of Two Harbors when both senior Sadie Micke and junior Emily Rikkola banked in two goals apiece, while senior Kelsey Anderson and juniors Carley Esse and Emily Wangen added one each.
The Lumberjacks will travel to Proctor Thursday and to Hermantown Saturday morning, before welcoming non-conference Grand Rapids Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
CEC boys win a pair, continue rolling
The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys soccer team just continues to win.
The Lumberjacks continued coasting through their midseason schedule. On Tuesday they dumped visiting Hibbing-Chisholm 6-1, a victory aided by a fierce five-goal second-half surge at Hilltop Park.
With senior Sam Longseth dishing out three assists, junior Jim Peterson netted two goals, while seniors Derek Anderson, Tyler Goebel and sophomore Westin Michaud all scored one each allowing CEC (8-1-1) to pull away from a 1-1 tie after the first 40 minutes.
“We played really poorly in the first half; we didn’t pass the ball and just struggled,” said Coach Archie Clark, noting senior Landen Straub’s team-best 15th goal this fall was their only mark of the slow frame. “We played much better in the second.”
CEC also added a 1-0 shutout victory in sudden-death overtime against Ashland Saturday in what Clark said was a huge win, worth four points in the Lake Superior Conference.
Straub scored the game-winner in the 87th minute.
“Landen finally tucked one in, a beautiful goal,” recalled Clark. “But I have to give Ashland credit. That’s a tough place to play and they’re feisty and pretty skilled.”
CEC’s schedule heats up when they head to Duluth Marshall Thursday before hosting fifth state-ranked and unbeaten Hermantown Saturday morning in a marquee rematch.
“That’s a big game,” said Clark of welcoming the Hawks, the team responsible for CEC’s only loss this fall. “Our guys think they can beat them. I think they can, too.”