Soccer team notches tie, win vs. Waseca, New Prague

Waseca was the opponent at Haddorf Field on Aug. 29 for the White Hawks Soccer Team. Last year, the home town team got beat handily in Southern Minnesota, so everyone looked forward to the rematch on home turf.

This being the third game in just five days, you could tell from the start that the team is starting to gel. The midfield, being in charge of carrying the ball forward and distributing, played crisp and was aware of the positioning of their teammates. Joe Fasching converted his first chance already after four minutes, with a low shot from 16 yards to give the White Hawks a 1-0 lead.

Waseca played very clever and patient and was a bit of a matchup problem to the White Hawks. Once in the attack zone inside 30 yards they put their game into gear and were suddenly very dangerous.

A breakaway over the left side gave goalie Jonathan Neve all he could handle . He made the save by coming out of the net and closing the angle for the Waseca attacker.

On the other end, Andrew Abbegglen missed the net form 10 yards and three White Hawk attackers missed the ball in the box after an Owen Mather free kick from the left side.

While the amount of chances were clearly in favor of Westonka, it only takes one mistake to get punished.

Waseca capitalized on a communication error on defense and converted a picture perfect fast counter attack into the 1-1 tie in the 30th minute.

Afterwards, they came out of their shell some more and proved to be an equal opponent as far as time of ball possession.

The half ended after Aidan Maloney put a cross from the left side onto the right foot of Sante Phommahaxay and Abbegglen trying a direct kick from only six yards out. Both attempts missed the net.

A stunned crowd saw Waseca score for the 2-1 lead right after half time.

The White Hawks now pressed much better and turned up the speed of the game, which was rewarded in the 51st minute.

Hank Nagel executed one of his dangerous and long throw ins into the Waseca box. The defense tried to clear of the ball but it landed right in front of the very active Senior Shane Yanta. He wasted no time and sent it into the net from 17 yards leaving the goalie no chance for a save.

The score was now 2-2.

Phommahaxay tried to capitalize on a goalie mistake in the 78th minute but the score remained tied to close out the regular time. Extra time was played to determine a match winner, but 2-2 was the final score after a long and exiting evening of soccer.

On Thursday, Aug. 31, the White Hawks travelled to their first game away from home for a tilt with Wright County opponent New Prague.

Two obstacles had to be overcome- it was the fourth game in six days and also the Trojans play on artificial turf, which is a big change in the game. The ball handles and bounces much different.

After three games on grass and no time to practice on turf, it was going to be interesting to see the team adapt to the change. New Prague made the first appearance in the White Hawks box, but senior defender Victor Nelson made a heads up play to clear the ball out of the danger zone.

The White Hawks got used to the turf after 10 minutes and tested mainly the left side of the New Prague defense with midfield sophomore Aidan Maloney serving the ball to Joe Fasching, who penetrated the box now time and time again.

In the 13th minute a throw in by Hank Nagel was extended in the air with a header by Philipp Weltin, Fasching was in the right place to tap the ball into the net for the lead. It was a wonderful goal and looked like a designed play.

After a White Hawks near miss in the 24th minute, Aidan Maloney fought for the ball and entered the box. His shot under heavy pressure hit the left goal post. Weltin crashed the net and converted the rebound for the 2-0 lead, 32 minutes into the game.

The White Hawks started the second half with a Matt Humbert near miss, after a corner by captain Owen Mather.

This play could have blown the doors open, but the Trojans used the immediate counter attack for a goal to make the score 2-1 in the 49th minute. Neve was without a chance for a save.

Now you could see that the White Hawks were getting tired due to the grueling game schedule and the fast turf.

Coach Bellamy ordered his troops more into the midfield and less aggressive upfront to save strength and to have a numbers advantage on defense.

They waited patiently for chances, which were now mainly breakaways.

Andrew Abbegglen was responsible for the 3-1 and right afterwards scored the prettiest goal so far in the 2017 campaign on such a breakaway.

Michael Doshan served a long ball, the New Prague goalie came out of his net and Abbegglen beat him with a beautiful shot from the left side of the box under the crossbar from 16 yards out.

Shane Yanta ended the evening with his second goal of the season in the 76th minute. Final score, White Hawks 5, New Prague 1.

The next home game is on Thursday, Sept. 7 against rival Holy Family.