Cloquet continues to win at soccerMaija Doran scored and added an assist on Chelsea Baublitz’s netter when Cloquet blanked visiting Hibbing-Chisholm 2-0 Tuesday evening at Bromberg Field. The shutout was the Lumberjacks’ fourth win of the season and kept their current unbeaten streak at five consecutive games.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
It was late August when the Cloquet girls varsity soccer team slowly walked off the field following a 10-1 defeat against unbeaten and top-ranked Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Maija Doran remembered the scene clearly.
“I’ve never lost that bad in my whole life,” said the Cloquet junior forward. “Our weaknesses were exposed and we kind of gave up. We’ve learned since then, though, and I think that loss has taught us a lot.”
Now the Lumberjacks are handing out their own bevy of area losses.
Doran scored and added an assist on Chelsea Baublitz’s netter when Cloquet blanked visiting Hibbing-Chisholm 2-0 Tuesday evening at Bromberg Field. The shutout was the Lumberjacks’ fourth win of the season and kept their current unbeaten streak at five consecutive games.
Cloquet’s last loss was against the Academy of Holy Angels Sept. 1, nearly 20 days ago. Over that span, the Lumberjacks (4-3-2) have toppled Duluth Marshall, Two Harbors and the Bluejackets Tuesday, sandwiched between a pair of 1-1 ties at hefty Hermantown and at potent Princeton.
“I like the direction we’re moving,” said fourth-year Cloquet Coach Dustin Randall. “We’re still improving and getting better, but I like where we’re at. We’ve been moving the ball pretty well and getting to the net. Shots don’t always tell the story, but we’ve had a lot of quality chances.”
That’s what happened against the Bluejackets when Baublitz marked in the 20th minute for her second goal of season, and Doran followed after halftime in the 65th minute, when the 5-foot-3 ball-wizard developed her own opportunity and buried her team-leading sixth goal of the year.
“I don’t think she’s really a secret anymore,” Randall said of his go-to forward. “Maija has the ability to create something out of nothing, really.”
Doran’s strike and Baublitz’s tally were among Cloquet’s 11 shots Tuesday. Last week ¬– in an 8-0 romp at Two Harbors – they fired 22 attempts on net. That aggressiveness is something that Baublitz said they work on daily.
“At practice we have been doing a lot of one-on-one drills to create quick shots and opportunities for us in games,” said Baublitz, a Cloquet junior midfielder. “Scoring first just gets us all pumped up and excited and we want to get another after that. I think we’re getting pretty confident as a team.”
Baublitz noted that confidence has come from their rising team chemistry after playing both in the summer and fall together. She, Doran, midfielders Emily Wangen and Becca Hammond and freshmen standout forwards Kayla Baker and Anna Fossen were highlighted by Randall in the team’s latest run. Senior goalkeeper Kenzie Rathe also has three shutouts, including Tuesday’s goose egg.
“I think we’re starting to adjust,” Randall said about their difficult start to the season. “We’ve gotten a lot of contributions from a lot of different girls.”
In Lake Superior Conference play next, Cloquet will travel to Proctor Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and host LSC leader Hermantown Saturday at 11 a.m. in a contest with conference title implications on the line.
“We felt like we were the better team,” Randall said, comparing his Lumberjacks to the Hawks. “They’re at the top of the table, but we can feel like we can play with them. Maybe we can win this one this time.”
A sure scene Doran and her teammates would like to remember.
“Whether it’s a big or small school, a win is a win; it’s a good feeling,” Doran said. “We’ve learned from our losses. Now we’re starting to click.”
Cloquet-Esko-Carlton (5-3-2) shut out host Hibbing-Chisholm 4-0 in boys soccer Tuesday, as the Lumberjacks netted three of their four goals in the opening 10 minutes. Jim Peterson, Ben Pietsch and Alex DeRocher all scored, while Westin Michaud marked a goal and pair of assists in the rout.
Esko-Carlton (6-4-0) knocked Two Harbors 3-1 in girls soccer Tuesday evening in Esko. The Eskomos outshot the visiting Agates 19-2 with Marisa Shady netting two goals and Elle Emanuel adding another for Esko on assists from Hillary Anderson and Dallas Cossalter in the onslaught.