Prep girls soccer: Cloquet-Carlton clamps down defensively in win over Esko
A smothering defensive effort by No. 10 (Class AA) ranked Cloquet-Carlton left Esko with few opportunities to score in a 3-0 shutout victory.
Riding a seven-game winning streak entering Thursday’s contest with Esko, Cloquet-Carlton maintained its stellar play on the defensive side of the ball with a fifth shutout win in six games, 3-0, at Bromberg Field in Cloquet.
“This is pretty typical of us,” said Cloquet-Carlton coach Dustin Randall. “In fact, they probably did a better job than most teams against us. Our back line is really quick and really strong, so it was another great day for them and again it’s been a whole season like that.”
The Lumberjacks proved equally adept on the offensive end of the field as well, keeping the ball in the Eskomos' end of the field for the majority of the first half before being rewarded with a free-kick goal by Olivia Jameson at the 28-minute mark. Alexa Snesrud picked up the assist.
A penalty kick opportunity late in the first half nearly made it 2-0, but a save by Esko goalkeeper Orie Randall kept it a one-goal game into halftime. In total, Randall stopped eight of 11 shots — drawing the praise of Esko coach Caitlin Lilly.
“That was a fantastic game on her half and our defense, I was just saying they covered some things well and some things we got exposed on — which is normal when you’re playing this team,” Lilly said.
Out of the break, the Lumberjacks continued to carry the play with numerous scoring chances, but came up empty behind more sprawling saves from Randall. Cloquet-Carlton eventually cashed in, however, as Kiley Issendorf added two additional goals for the Lumberjacks, with an assist credited to Katie Turner.
Lumberjacks goalkeeper Katelyn Olson ended the contest with three saves.
Cloquet-Carlton (14-2) and Esko (8-7) now await their Section 7A and 7AA seedings, respectively. Both teams boast unbeaten records against section opponents.
Lilly hopes the Eskomos can build off the challenge presented by the Lumberjacks into the playoffs.
“It’s nice to play a team of this caliber before we head into section, and this year we’re heading into a section with six teams that we’ve never played before,” said Lilly. So, it’s nice to have a game of this speed before we play some teams that we haven’t seen yet.”
Entering sections on a red-hot streak, Randall emphasizes the need to take it game by game in order to be at their best.
“We feel really good about ourselves. We’ve had the win against East and then win against our neighboring team here. (It) certainly helps us, but it also can hurt us if we’re not getting opportunities to learn from the challenge and the stress of being behind and stuff like that. So, we play it game by game and we feel good about where we are,” said Randall.
Esko: 0-0 — 0
C-C: 1-2 — 3
First half — 1. C-C, Olivia Jameson (Alexa Snesrud)
Second half — 2. C-C Kiley Issendorf (Katie Turner), 13th. Issendorf, 23rd.
Saves — Katelyn Olson, C-C, 3; Orie Randall, Esko, 8