’Rapids creeps by CECCEC boys soccer coach Archie Clark watched from the sidelines as his Lumberjacks didn’t score and didn’t win in a 1-0 shutout loss to Grand Rapids Tuesday evening at Bromberg Field in Cloquet.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Archie Clark isn’t a mathematician, but as the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys soccer coach, he grasps the simplest victory formula of any sport.
“If you can’t score, you can’t win,” he said.
Clark watched from the sidelines as his Lumberjacks didn’t score and didn’t win in a 1-0 shutout loss to Grand Rapids Tuesday evening at Bromberg Field in Cloquet. CEC controlled most of the match until Ben Ziemski’s breakaway goal in the 71st minute proved to be the dagger.
According to Clark, the Lumberjacks possessed the ball up field but it was knocked away, deflected off some shin guards, and went to the Thunderhawks, but then Ziemski sped down the field for his breakaway.
“It goes that quickly,” Clark said, explaining he was happy with the way the Lumberjacks battled Tuesday. “We defended well, we controlled the ball well and we passed well. We just had one breakdown. I think we deserved to win, but we just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net.”
Tuesday was nothing new for CEC (6-5-2) this fall, as goals have been hard to find. Already, the Lumberjacks have been blanked four times, while in 13 games, they’ve only buried 26 goals compared to last year’s state squad where forward Landen Straub scored 25 goals alone.
“That just goes to show how good of a player he was,” Clark said. “We don’t have that go-to player this year and it shows. We miss that.”
“With the exception of a few games against teams like Two Harbors, Superior and Hibbing, we really haven’t had that scoring barrage much,” Esko senior defender and captain Brock Anderson said. “We’ve struggled scoring against tough competition. I don’t think [Grand Rapids] was the better team. They scored and we just couldn’t find the net.”
Ben Pietsch, a 5-foot-9, 135-pound Carlton sophomore forward, noted that he and his teammates controlled the game’s tempo Tuesday. Pacing CEC statistically was goalkeeper Halen Danielson with 12 saves.
“I thought we played well, unfortunately it just didn’t go our way,” Pietsch said. “We have everything else down and we’re keeping our touches up every day. We work on shooting every day at practice.”
CEC next plays at Lake Superior Conference foe Duluth Marshall Thursday, and will host Duluth East and Proctor next week.
Pietsch, like Anderson and his teammates, said he is optimistic for the rest of the year and the upcoming postseason. According to their coach, Section 7A is a wide open race.
“If we don’t start finding a way to score, it’ll be a short playoff run, I’ll tell you that,” Clark said. “But there are a half a dozen teams – or more – that can step up in the end and make a run. And I like my team.”
Cloquet (6-3-3) continued its torrid unbeaten streak with a 1-0 victory over host Grand Rapids in girls soccer Tuesday. The Lumberjacks, who haven’t lost in their last eight matches, notched their lone goal on penalty kick netter by Becca Hammond in the seventh minute. Kenzie Rathe made six saves in her fifth shutout this fall.
Esko-Carlton (7-5-0) snapped a previous three-match winning streak with a competitive 3-2 overtime loss to Duluth East Monday at Les Knuti Field in Esko. Kadee Karkkainen and Erika Shady buried goals for the Eskomos, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Michelle Stingle’s winner in the opening overtime for the Greyhounds.