The Minnewaska Area boys soccer team earned a tie with Hillcrest Lutheran during its third game of the season last Tuesday nigh at Fergus Falls.  The Lakers, who are 2-0-1 for the season, took the lead against a strong Hillcrest team before the the home team came back to earn the tie.

Minnewaska has a very busy week ahead with two home games, Tuesday (St. Cloud Cathedral) and Thursday (Little Falls-LPGE) before also competing in a rare Saturday game at Pelican Rapids.

The Lakers are being coached this fall by first-year head coach David Vinje, who takes over the helm of the program after Ted Hill retired after serving as head coach for 26 years.

Vinje was one of the assistants on the team last year, serving with Tony Feigum, Manford Foster and Jarrid Jergenson.  He previously has served as head boys coach at Alexandria for at least two seasons and the head girls coach at Willmar for three years.  This year, Vinje will be assisted by Caleb Green (JV) and Jarrid Jergenson (junior high).

The team lost 10 players from last year’s team, including co-MVP’s Aaron Feigum and Genaro Contreras Mondragon.This year’s Minnewaska Area boys soccer roster includes senior Blake Nelson, Thomas Poegel, Connor Quelle, Ethan Curry and Jose Contreras Mondragon; juniors Tenzin Dahl, Chase Smith, Jackson Holmes, Morgan Meyer and Riley Thorfinnson; sophomores Riley Week, Ryan Greseth, Lane Curry, Connor Erickson and Lucas Curry; and ninth-graders Caden Christensen and Carter LeClair.

•  The Lakers are coming off an 7-8 season from a year ago, a season in which the team also went 5-4 in the Granite Ridge Conference.  

St. Cloud Cathedral won last year’s Granite Ridge title with an 8-0 league mark, followed by Little Falls (8-2), Minnewaska (5-4), St. John’s Prep (2-6), Zimmerman (1-4) and Melrose Area (0-8).

Waska 1, Hillcrest 1

The Minnewaska Lakers played their third game in six days last Tuesday, traveling to Fergus Falls to take on Hillcrest Lutheran.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with each team trading opportunities. The halftime whistle blew with the game locked at 0-0.

“At halftime, we talked about creating opportunities,” coach David Vinje said.  “We knew we were tired, so we had to adjust accordingly, choosing our moments.”

In the 48th minute, after a Hillcrest Lutheran foul, the Lakers finally broke the scoreless tie.  Connor Quelle whipped in a free kick to Blake Nelson, who put the ball in the back of the net to make the game 1-0.  It was Nelson’s third goal and Quelle’s fourth assist of the season.

A little later, after a tactical foul by Minnewaska right outside the 18-yard box, a Hillcrest player buried the free kick, tying the game 1-1.

That would be all the scoring as the defenses took over from there, ending the game with a 1-1 tie and putting the Minnewaska Lakers soccer team’s record at 2-0-1 through the early part of the season.

Waska 1, at Hillcrest 1

Minnewaska (2-0-1) 0 1 — 1

Hillcrest Lutheran 0 1 — 1

First half:  No scoring

Second half:  (1) Min-Blake Nelson (Connor Quelle), 48th min . . . (2) Hillcrest

Shots on goal:  UA

Goalie saves:  Tenzin Dahl, Min UA

Check out more photos in our photo gallery!