Mahtomedi boys soccer has a 7-2-1 record after a busy week. The Zephyrs tripped St. Paul Como Park (6-3-1) by 2-0 on Monday, struggled to a 0-0 tie against Henry Sibley (2-5-1) on Tuesday, and pulled out a 3-2 win over North St. Paul (5-3-1) on Thursday. Last Saturday they lost to top-ranked Blake 2-0.
T.J. Bruner delivered both goals against No. 10 ranked Como Park with Kyle Schmidt and Nathan Gruhlke assisting. “We played a great game . We knew they would be fast and ready to go as they always are,” coach Dominic Isaac said, “and we felt really good about ourselves, after Saturday’s back and forth match against the No. 1 team in the state, Blake.” The coach cited the Zephyrs' back line of Ryan Millington, Michael Williams, and Josh Heinsch for being very organized in controlling Como’s attack while goalkeeper Josh Bates made six saves.
Against Sibley, the Zephyrs “struggled getting our shots on frame,” he said. They had about 15 shots and 10 corner kicks but could not find the net. “The legs where a little tired after two tough games against Top 10 teams in three days.” Again the back line held the opposing offense at bay in helping Bates post his sixth shutout of the season. Bates’ goals-against average is 0.84.
Schmidt’s goal broke a 2-2 tie in the North St. Paul game, assisted by Ethan Peterson. George Velky scored with an assist by Karl Lawrie, and Bruner got his 13th goal of the year, assisted by Schmidt.
“A wild, emotional roller coaster,” Isaac said. The Zephyrs led 2-0 but gave up two goals in the last 10 minutes of the half which he attributed to defense mistakes “that a young team will make.”
At half, they talked about pushing themselves and re-focusing. Kyle scored in the 60th minute. “From there on we really buckled down defensively,” Isaac said. “I thought we really played our hearts out and many guys stepped up to keep the win.”
Gruhlke provided energy off off the bench and almost scored twice late in the game to keep pressure on. Velky and Lawrie locked down their side defensively. Bates commanded the back line. Schmidt played a full 40 minutes and defended hard. The forwards and central mids found the holes in North’s back line. “I saw a lot of character out of the guys,” Isaac said.