Mounds View boys soccer looks to reload

After advancing to the section final last fall, the Mounds View High School boys soccer team had more than a dozen players graduate and leave the program. That’s a lot of players to replace in one season.

Head coach Chris Scanlon, in his fifth season as the Mustangs’ head coach, has a decent number of returning players to help fill those holes.

“We graduated 16 seniors from last year’s Section 5AA finalist team,” said Scanlon, “but we have seven strong players returning to lead the team this year.”

The team leaders are senior captains George Mata and Armando Jenkins-Vazquez and both return after earning Suburban East Conference all first-team honors in 2015. Also retuning is junior Till Konczak, an honorable mention all-conference selection last year.

“George Mata, Armando Jenkins-Vazquez and Till Konczak, all third-year Mounds View varsity players, are considered by state coaches to be top players in the state of Minnesota,” Scanlon said.

Also returning this season are seniors Jonah Westerman and Jeremy Vaske and juniors Elijah Paulin and Thomas Limborg. A couple of players moving up from the junior varsity are goalkeepers Jason Min and Daniel Frink.

“We have been very pleased with the focus and work rate of the players,” said Scanlon. “The boys are working very hard to come together and are learning to play as a team.”

The defense was hit particularly hard by graduation but Scanlon likes how seniors Liam Von Grey and Thomas Wong have stepped in to solidify the back line.

“Our goal for the season is to continue to improve every time we play and to compete for conference, section and state championships,” Scanlon said. “The boys are very excited to try to earn the opportunity to play in the new U.S. Bank Stadium. We believe that our strong conference and non-conference schedule will help prepare us to reach these goals.”

Mounds View opened the season on August 25 with a visit from Wayzata, which began the season ranked fifth in the state in Class AA. The Trojans downed the Mustangs 2-1 and moved up to third in the state rankings last week.

Following the loss, Mounds View rattled off three straight victories. The Mustangs went to Irondale and won 6-3 and then swept Cloquet-Esko-Carlton (4-0) and Duluth East (3-2) on a two-day trip up north.

Mounds View plays two more non-conference games this week when Hopkins pays a visit to Mustang Stadium on Sept. 8 and the Mustangs visit Park Center on Sept. 10.

 

New coach

Former Mounds View junior varsity soccer coach Omar Ledesma has returned to the program as a varsity assistant.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

2016 Mounds View High School boys soccer schedule

Aug. 25 vs. Wayzata 6 p.m.

Aug. 29 at Irondale 6 p.m.

Aug. 31 at Cloquet 1 p.m.

Sept. 1 at Duluth East 12 p.m.

Sept. 8 vs. Hopkins 6 p.m.

Sept. 10 at Park Center 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Forest Lake 5 p.m.

Sept. 15 at Roseville 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 vs. East Ridge 5 p.m.

Sept. 22 vs. Cretin-Derham Hall 7 p.m.

Sept. 24 vs. Spring Lake Park/SAV 1 p.m.

Sept. 27 at White Bear Lake 7 p.m.

Sept. 29 at Stillwater 5 p.m.

Oct. 1 at Minneapolis Washburn 2 p.m.

Oct. 4 vs. Woodbury 7 p.m.

Oct. 6 vs. Park-Cottage Grove 5 p.m.

 

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Comment Here