Hot-and-cold ’Jacks win and lose
Keyed by four goals in the opening half and followed by three more in the second, the Cloquet girls soccer team thumped visiting Grand Rapids 7-1 Tuesday evening at Bromberg Field in Cloquet.
According to Cloquet Coach Dustin Randall, his girls’ scoring barrage was a pleasant scene.
“I thought they played pretty well,” Randall said, noting the Lumberjacks got a pair of goals each from Maija Doran and Emily Rikkola, as well as one each from Kelsey Anderson, Carri Zeadow and Sadie Micke against the non-conference
Things were the polar opposite Saturday, however.
Facing Lake Superior Conference rival Hermantown, the host Hawks stymied Cloquet (5-6) with four first-half goals, including one within the opening minute of play.
“In that first minute, we had a lack of focus,” said Randall about the 40-yard strike by their opponent. “Mentally, we never recovered.”
Randall said according to his statistics, they outshot Hermantown 15-6 on the afternoon, but lapsed as things went downhill early on.
“It’s a mental thing I think,” said Randall. “We can play well, but it seems when things don’t go our way, we can get shaky. We have a lot of pieces to the chain, but it just seems we’re missing a piece here or there. I haven’t seen a solid 80 minutes of soccer from these girls yet.”
Cloquet also added a come-from-behind 2-1 win over visiting LSC nemesis Proctor last Thursday, as Doran netted a pair of goals in the second half. The sophomore forward leads the Lumberjacks with nine goals this fall.
With the postseason just around the corner, Randall remains confident in his hot-and-cold bunch.
“I haven’t seen much of anyone else, so I’m thinking things are up for grabs,” Randall said of the Section 7A field. “We’re doing some good things, but when it comes crunch time, it’s about if we can do it against the good teams.
“I wouldn’t count us out, but we have some work to do,” he said.
Heading back into LSC action, Cloquet will next travel to Proctor Saturday morning and then host Duluth Marshall Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Eskomos split with Duluth teams
Having played their way through nearly a dozen games this fall, the Esko-Carlton girls soccer team had yet to be shut out.
Then came Duluth East.
Winners of their last five straight contests, the highly-touted Greyhounds used a five-goal second-half scoring binge to blank the visiting Eskomos
5-0 Monday night in Duluth.
The match, however, was closer than the final score indicated.
“We held it 0-0 after a half,” said Esko Coach Nicki Peterson. “We played really well. [Being tied at halftime] definitely was a moral win for us.”
East netted three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second frame, then added two more later to extend their unbeaten streak to 50 games (49-0-1) against local competition, dating back to 2003.
“They’re a great team to play,” said Peterson. “Our defense really got a workout. We just couldn’t get our attack going.”
Peterson highlighted the fact that Esko freshman Bailey Mudek held East senior and University of Minnesota recruit Alex Freeman – the Northland’s leading scorer – to just one goal Monday.
Although their loss snapped their previous three-game winning streak, Esko-Carlton (7-4) shellacked visiting Duluth Marshall 4-0 last Thursday, as senior forward Caitlin Lilly netted her third straight hat trick in as many games.
“She had a hat trick of hat tricks!” said Peterson of her top striker, leading the Eskomos with 18 goals this season. “I’ve never seen one of those
Alyssa Rodlund scored the other goal against the Hilltoppers, burying a pass fed from Hillary Anderson.
The shutout was goalkeeper Rachel Ofstie’s fourth of the season.
Esko-Carlton next hits the road to defending Section 7A champion Chisago Lakes Area Thursday, before hosting section foes Hermantown Saturday, Duluth Denfeld Tuesday and traveling to rival Cloquet Thursday to close their season.
“I like our schedule,” Peterson said. “We have four good games coming up.”