Boys soccer: Rochester season preview

August 27, 2018


Head coach: Hal Houghton. Assistants: Fabian Becerril, Murharem Dedic, Kyle Trogstad-Isaacson, Mark McNiven.

Last year: Century finished 4-7-0 in the Big Nine, 6-12-0 overall. The Panthers surprised Lakeville South in the first round of the Section 1AA tournament, winning in a shootout. They then fell 3-0 to Lakeville North in the semifinals. Century scored 0.9 goals per game and allowed 2.3.

Key graduates: Connor Watson (forward), Matt Christenson (midfielder), Jonas Tost (midfielder), Chol Ajak (midfielder), Weston Fyles (defender), Nathan Marks (goalie).

Key returners: Ameer Alrubayee (forward), Blake Larsen (goalie), Cade Wilson (defender), Jacob LaDue (defender, midfielder).

Team’s strengths: Century has shown a competitiveness in early-season practices that have pleased coach Hal Houghton. There is a nice blend of strong older players and strong younger ones throughout the program.

Team’s challenges: Injuries have been a problem the last few years, and Century hopes to stay away from this season. Ameer Alrubayee is a key player who has missed a pack of games the last two years with injuries. Also, a roster littered with new players will take time to jell.

Outlook: Despite all of the turnover, expect Century to be better in terms of wins and losses this season. The Panthers come in with momentum, having won their first section playoff games in over nine years, beating Lakeville South in a shootout. Century expects to be playing its best soccer by the end of the season and has high hopes of upping its goal average of last year, which was just 0.9 per game.

Coach says: “Whatever happens, I expect this to be an exciting season for us. There is an upbeat vibe at practice.” — Hal Houghton


Returning lettermen

Seniors: Andrew Coleman (defender), Matthew Melsness (midfielder), Blake Larsen (goalie), Cade Wilson (defender), Jacob LaDue (defender), Ameer Alrubayee (forward). Sophomores: Max Sargent (midfielder), Josh Christenson (midfielder)

Other varsity candidates

Seniors: Tyler Galardy (midfielder) Drew Fredrickson (forward), Adis Habibovic (midfielder), Tanner Osborne (defender), Rayan Haj Sakor (midfielder). Juniors: Reilly Leif (defender), Ryan Murphy (defender), Luke Corrigan (midfielder), Noor Mohamed (midfielder). Sophomores: Markus Melsness (midfielder), Jacob Watson (defender), Hunter Smith (defender). Freshmen: Curtis Froyd (forward), Rivaldo Pena (midfielder), Luke Dallman (midfielder).


(all matches at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Aug. 23 — Rosemount

Aug. 25 — at Farmington, 1 p.m.

Aug. 28 — at Lakeville North,

Aug. 31 — at Albert Lea, 5 p.m.

Sept. 4 — Winona, 7 p.m.

Sept. 6 — at Owatonna

Sept. 11 — Mankato West

Sept. 13 — at Northfield

Sept. 15 — Lakeville South, 1 p.m.

Sept. 18 — at Faribault

Sept. 20 — Mankato East

Sept. 22 — New Prague, 1 p.m.

Sept. 25 — Red Wing

Sept. 27 — at Mayo

Oct. 2 — at John Marshall

Oct. 4 — Austin

Oct. 9 — at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 11 — at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 16 — at Section 1AA tournament, TBD


Head coach: Isreal Perez. Assistants: Abdul Noor, John Makur.

Last year: JM finished 2-9-0 in the Big Nine, 2-15-0 overall. It lost 10-0 to Lakeville North in the first round of the Section 1AA playoffs. The Rockets scored 0.8 goals per game and allowed 5.1.

Key graduates: Zach Adams (midfielder), Raul Hernandez (midfielder), Charlie Hickman (defender).

Key returners: Carlos Garcia (defender), Ian Baba-Lola (forward), Jasper Padrnos (midfielder), Vedad Budimlic (midfielder), Alex Hudson (goalie), Jesse Parrott (defender), Hassan Nuh (defender), Dylon Thammavongsa (forward), Trystan Hildman (defender).

Team’s strengths: The players have shown competitiveness with each other, always playing hard. Wingers and forwards have speed which will allow a pressing technique.

Team’s challenges: A lack of communication and keeping focus for an entire game. Also, making sure what it practices is carried out in the game.

Outlook: Isreal Perez replaces longtime head coach Tony Birch. He expects his team to be competitive with the teams it plays, particularly the Rochester schools. The Rockets are playing a new formation that Perez wants mastered.

Coach says: “The No. 1 rule when we get the ball is not to lose it.” — Isreal Perez


Returning lettermen

Seniors: Carlos Garcia (defender), Ian Baba-Lola (forward), Jesse Parrot (defender), Hassan Nuh (defender), Trystan Hildman (defender). Juniors: Jasper Padrnos (midfielder), Vedad Budimlic (midfielder).

Other varsity candidates

Seniors: Nathan Wrubel (defender), Kaycee Phen (forward). Juniors: Gabriel Munoz (forward), George Baiza (midfielder), Mohamed Hudson (midfielder). Sophomores: Lucas Fagan (forward), Aaron Shue (defender). Freshman: Carson Settell (Midfield)


(all matches at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Aug. 28 — at Farmington

Aug. 30 — Faribault

Sept. 4 — at Mayo

Sept. 6 — Mankato East

Sept. 11 — at Northfield

Sept. 13 — Winona

Sept. 15 — Lakeville North, 3 p.m.

Sept. 18 — Austin

Sept. 20 — at Red Wing

Sept. 25 — Mankato West

Sept. 27 — at Albert Lea

Oct. 2 — Century

Oct. 4 — at Owatonna

Oct. 9 — at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 11 — at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 16 — at Section 1AA tournament, TBD


Head coach: Charles Abboud. Assistants: Faiz Abdirahman, Michael Ishitani, Johnny Loera.

Last year: Mayo finished 9-0-2 in the Big Nine, 14-2-2 overall. It lost in a shootout to Farmington in the Section 1AA tournament’s second round. It scored 4.3 goals per game and allowed 0.9.

Key graduates: Liam Claton (midfielder), Rehan Iftikhar (midfielder), Mohamed Muse (midfielder), Alex Doppler (midfielder), Joe Brozovich (midfielder), Sabastian Vile (defender), Nick Krochta (defender), Charlie Milbrand (defender), John Pittock (attacker), Zack Wendt (attacker).

Key returners: Joey Wigle (goalie), Simon Kennel (defender), Joe Sedarski (defender), Nathan Spindler-Krage (defender), Kellen Claton (midfielder), Jibril Muse (midfielder), Ian McBane (midfielder), Gabriel Gauthier (attacker).

Team’s strength: Defenders Simon Kennel, Joe Sedarski and Nathan Spindler Krage, and goalie Joey Wigle should make the Spartans stingy again. The midfield is also strong with Kellen Claton, Jibril Muse and Ian McBane.

Team’s challenge: How the combination of Gabriel Gauthier, Daliso Chitulangoma and alternates Giovanni Castillo and Ronan Couch work together and with their midfielders is a question to be answered.

Outlook: Mayo has had one losing season in Charlies Abboud’s lengthy tenure as coach. Expect the Spartans to continue those winning ways again, although with this young team, they likely won’t hit their stride until halfway through the season. Their defense will be tough, with confident and experienced players back their.

Coach says: “We, the Mayo Spartans, have a long tradition of excellence and rising to any challenge, and this year will not be different.” — Charles Abboud


Seniors: Joseph Sedarski (defender), Ronan Couch (forward), Ian McBane (midfielder), Gabriel Gauther (forward), Lucas Chini (defender), Jibril Muse (midfielder), Logan Hamernick (defender), Rauf Iftikhar (midfielder), Nathan Spindler Krage (defender), Simon Kennel (defender), Joey Wigle (goalie), Thomas Welch (goalie). Juniors: Daniel Chang (defender), Kellen Claton (midfielder), Kolton Tufty (midfielder), Daliso Chitulangoma (forward), Dario Blum (defender), Jonathan Wright (forward). Sophomores: Kyle Doppler (midfielder), Zach Spindler Krage (defender), Adam McPhail (defender), Luis Lopez (midfielder), Geo Castillo (forward), Miguel Zuniga (forward).


(all matches at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Aug. 24 — Mahtomedi

Aug. 27 at Farmington

Aug. 30 — Red Wing

Sept. 4 — at John Marshall

Sept. 6 — at Mankato West

Sept. 8 — New Prague, 2 p.m.

Sept. 11 — Austin

Sept. 13 — at Faribault

Sept. 15 — at Century, 5 p.m.

Sept. 18 — Winona, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 — at Owatonna

Sept. 22 — Byron, 3 p.m.

Sept. 25 — Northfield

Sept. 27 — Mankato East, 5 p.m.

Oct. 1 — at Lakeville South

Oct. 4 — at Albert Lea

Oct. 9 — at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 11 — at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 16 — at Section 1AA tournament, TBD


Head coach: Tom Kane. Assistants: James Armstead, Zach Boyer, Sean Kane, Jack Convery, Tim Jennings.

Last year: Lourdes finished 6-0-0 in the HVL and 13-4-3 overall. The Eagles lost 2-0 to Austin in the Section 1A title game. Lourdes scored 3.8 goals per game and allowed 0.7.

Key graduates: Gavan Schotzko (attacker, 15 goals, 8 assists last year); Dan Morice (defender); Zach Angst (defender).

Key returners: Donovan Buss (attacker, 22 goals, 6 assists); Colton Praska (attacker, 6 goals, 13 assists); Nicholas Onderak (defender, 1 goal, 3 assists); Max Carlsen (defender); Daniel Brown (center midfielder, 4 goals, 3 assists).

Team’s strengths: Lourdes is loaded with talent and experience. It graduated just three players from last year’s team. It has a pack of players with two years of varsity time.

Team’s challenges: Adjusting to a new formation and Praska moving from center midfield to forward.

Outlook: Lourdes is getting its usual immediate respect, ranked ninth in the state in Class A. Austin is the only team in Section 1A ranked ahead of it, at No. 4. Those two teams will likely fight it out once again to see who goes to state. Lourdes has a dynamic duo up front in the speedy Buss and Praska. They combined for 28 goals and 19 assists last year. . .Lourdes has a wicked schedule, with juggernauts Blake and St. Paul Academy having been added to it. Blake is ranked No. 2, St. Thomas Academy No. 3.

Coach says: “We have a lot of depth this year as well as experience that should help us compete with our toughest schedule in years.” — Tom Kane


Returning lettermen

Seniors: Nick Onderak (defender) Colton Praska (attacker), Max Carlsen (defender)(midfielder, defender), Luke Alexander (defender), Oliver Dahlberg (defender), Sam Boes (defender), Jose Pena (midfielder), Yiseral Morris (attacker). Juniors: Daniel Brown (midfeidler), Austin Loeslie (midfielder), Matt Steinmetz (midfielder), Kilian Schotzko (midfielder), Nikhil Rajkumar (midfielder), Jackson Knoepke (defender), Ben Borgmeier (defender), Bradley Allen (midfielder), Issac Hensrud (defender), Faraji Douglas (midfielder), Liam O’Neil (defender). Sophomores: Jaxon Stonelake-Hopkins (goalie). Freshman: Trent Neff (midfielder).

Other varsity candidates

Seniors: Jacob Curry (goalie). Junior: Jack Johnston (defender). Sophomores: Sam Decker (defender, midfielder). Freshmen: Mario Magnotto (attacker), Jack Hobday (goalie).


Aug. 24 — at Duluth Denfield, 4 p.m.

Aug. 25 — at Duluth Marshall, 1 p.m.

Aug. 28 — at Mankato East, 5 p.m.

Aug. 30 — Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 7 p.m.

Sept. 1 — Blake, 10 a.m.

Sept. 4 — at St. Paul Academy, 5 p.m.

Sept. 6 — Byron, 7 p.m.

Sept. 8 — Austin, 9:30 a.m.

Sept. 15 — at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, 5 p.m.

Sept. 17 — at Faribault, 7 p.m.

Sept. 18 — at Stewartville, 5 p.m.

Sept. 22 — at Orono, noon

Sept. 25 — Kasson-Mantorville, 8 p.m.

Oct. 2 — at Lake City, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 — at Cannon Falls, 5 p.m.

Oct. 6 — Breck, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 — at Section 1A tournament, TBD

Oct. 13 — at Section 1A tournament, TBD

Oct. 16 — at Section 1A tournament, TBD

Oct. 18 — at Section 1A tournament, Austin, 7:30 p.m.

— Pat Ruff

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