Boys Soccer: Rochester, Austin season preview


Head coach:Hal Houghton. Assistants:Drew Lueders, Chris Graham.

Last year:Century was 3-3-3 in the Big Nine and 4-8-4 overall. It lost 1-0 to Owatonna in the first round of the Section 1AA playoffs.

Outlook:It's amazing that Century won four games and tied four others last year when you consider its season goals total: 11. The Panthers never were able to get their offense going, but their defense was terrific. Century will likely be relying on its defense again this season, but will be doing it without Nicholas Waara, who has graduated and was outstanding in goal last year. This season the Panthers will turn to Erik Thorvilson and Nick Pearson in goal. The two may rotate at that spot. Century's top two returning players are senior midfielders Seyla Ou and Peter Beiswanger. Century coach Hal Houghton is also expecting good things out of junior all-around player Grant Leet-Otley.

The Panthers are extremely young. The numbers are good, with 54 players out for the team, but many of them are eighth-graders.


Coach Houghton says:"I think we're going to look a lot different at the beginning of the season than we will at the end. We've got some guys out right now. But there is a very optimistic, upbeat feeling on this team."


Returning lettermen

Seniors: Seyla Ou, forward, midfield; Peter Beiswanger, midfield; Mark Herbeck, defense. Juniors:Grant Leet-Otley, defense, midfield, forward; Marc Tost-Midfielder, forward; Ben Wood, midfield, defense; Nick Pearson, goalie.

Other varsity candidates

Seniors: Riley Brandmeyer, midfield, defense; Sean Duncan, defense; Sadik Ali-Mid, forward. Juniors:Noah Boecker, midfield; Sam Eggebrecht, midfield; Keller Leet-Otley, defense; Javier Sagastume, midfield; Erik Thorvilson, goalie. Sophomores:Billy Smith, defense, midfield; Hussein Alrubayee, forward, midfield.


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


Aug. 23 β€” at University of St. John's tournament, Holy Family, 5 p.m.

Aug. 24 β€”at University of St. John's tournament, TBD

Aug. 27 β€”Lakeville North

Sept. 3 β€”at Farmington, 5 p.m.

Sept. 5 β€”Mankato East

Sept. 7 β€”at Rosemount

Sept. 10 β€”at Northfield

Sept. 12 β€”Austin


Sept. 14 β€”at Winona, 4 p.m.

Sept. 17 β€”at Owatonna

Sept. 19 β€”Faribault

Sept. 21 β€”at Lakeville South, 11 a.m.

Sept. 24 β€”at John Marshall, 5 p.m.

Sept. 26 β€”Albert Lea

Oct. 1 β€”at Mankato West, 5 p.m.

Oct. 3 β€”Mayo


Oct. 10 β€”at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 12 β€”at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 15 β€”at Section 1AA tournament, TBD


Head coach:Tony Birch. Assistants:Frank Spaeth, Bunly Suy, Guy Gallaugher.

Last year:JM finished 4-5-0 in the Big Nine and 5-11-0 overall.

Outlook:After struggling to win games in recent years, the Rockets may be on the brink of turning things around. Coach Tony Birch is eyeing a top-half of the conference finish for his team. Things took a jump for JM last year, with it winning five games. They look to get even better behind improved individual skills and more experienced players. The second one is partly the result of many of Birch's players having played summer soccer. JM has some strong individual players, led by Brett Cornforth, Ashton Naumann, Bilal Abdelgader and Ben Jensen. Cornforth is a senior defensive player who was among the Big Nine's best last year. Naumann is an all-conference midfielder and a junior, Abdelgader is a junior forward with a knack for scoring, and Jensen is a solid defensive player.

Birch's main concern is getting a bunch of players who played club soccer over the summer, to mesh. He also has to count on a goalie, Ben Kellner, who was on the junior varsity last year but is showing promise.


Coach Birch says:"We have high expectations; we expect to be a competitive team. We are confident that is going to happen on the field."


Returning lettermen (positions undetermined)

Seniors: Brett Cornforth, Konrad Laack, Chris Clopton. Juniors:Ben Jensen, Bilal Abdelgader, Ashton Naumann, Ben Kellner, Armin Heldovac, Ayo Adebayo, Sami Shanaa, Cole Alward.

Other varsity candidates (positions undetermined)

Seniors: Alem Susic, Azzam Hassan, Drew Rindflesch. Juniors: Peter Ombui, Dillon Parrott. Sophomore: Tanner VanDemmeltraadt. Freshman: Chris Ruvalcaba, Jack Gallallugher.


(All games at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)


Aug. 22 β€”Lakeville South

Aug. 23 β€”at Lourdes

Aug. 24 β€”Anoka, 1 p.m.

Aug. 29 β€”Farmington

Aug. 30 β€”Fairmont, 5 p.m.

Sept. 5 β€”Owatonna

Sept. 10 β€”at Faribault

Sept. 12 β€”at Mayo

Sept. 14 β€”Kasson-Mantorville, 3 p.m.

Sept. 17 β€”Albert Lea

Sept. 19 β€”at Mankato West, 5 p.m.

Sept. 24 β€”Century, 5 p.m.

Sept. 26 β€”at Mankato East

Sept. 28 β€”at Pine Island, 5 p.m.

Oct. 1 β€”Winona

Oct. 3 β€”at Austin

Oct. 10 β€”at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 12 β€”at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 15 β€”at Section 1AA tournament, TBD


Head coach:Charles Abboud. Assistants:JD Bartleson, Faiz Abdirahman, Michael Ishitani.

Last year:Mayo finished 8-2-0 in the Big Nine, 12-5-0 overall. It fell 4-1 to Northfield in the Section 1AA semifinals.

Outlook:Mayo is fielding as young a team as it has in a long while. There will be four sophomores who will be getting big varsity minutes, striker Jonnie Loera, defender Tristan Wentworth, midfielder Zach Reeves, and striker Alex See. Loera may be the best of that bunch. Loera and Wentworth played varsity soccer last year as freshmen. Still, despite the youth, Mayo's strength is in its seniors. There are just five of them, with Liam Reid Hathaway (midfield/striker), Ian Wright (defense) and Alex Findlay (defense) leading that group. Hathaway is particularly counted on. He has a big presence around the ball, with his ability to control it, pass it and attack the net with it. Mayo figures to be better at the end of the season than it will be early, simply because of its youth. Mayo coach Charles Abboud also believes the Big Nine Conference will offer a major challenge, with virtually all of its teams strong.

Not only is Mayo shy on seniors, but it is even more shy on juniors. Just two 11th-graders are on the roster.

Coach Abboud says:"Our sophomores don't have the physical maturity, but the they are excellent players with an understanding of the game. No doubt they are good players."

 Returning lettermen

Seniors: Ian Wright, defense; Alex Findlay, defense; Liam Reid Hathaway, midfield/forward. Juniors:Alex Sedarski, goalie; Blake Hess, midfield. Sophomores:Jonnie Loera, striker; Tristan Wentworth, defense.

Other varsity candidates

Seniors:Nate Witte, midfield; Baustin Welch, midfield; Alex Mohney, midfield; Kiran Goyal, midfield; Anthony Wilson, midfield; Aidan Murphy, striker; Matt Ladin, striker; Chandler Borrillo, striker; Michael Poeschla, defense; Tobias Weiss, defense. Sophomores:Alex See, striker; Zach Reeves, midfield.


(All games at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Aug. 22 β€” Lakeville North

Aug. 23 β€”Anoka

Aug. 27 β€”Northfield

Aug. 29 β€”at Lakeville South

Sept. 3 β€”Faribault

Sept. 5 β€”at Rosemount

Sept. 10 β€”at Mankato East

Sept. 12 β€”John Marshall

Sept. 14 β€”at Farmington, 11 a.m.

Sept. 17 β€”at Winona

Sept. 19 β€”Albert Lea

Sept. 24 β€”at Austin

Sept. 26 β€”Mankato West

Sept. 28 β€”Henry Sibley, 1 p.m.

Oct. 1 β€”at Owatonna

Oct. 3 β€”at Century

Oct. 10 β€”at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 12 β€”at Section 1AA tournament, TBD

Oct. 15 β€”at Section 1AA tournament, TBD


Head coach:Tom Kane. Assistants:Sean Kane, Tim Jennings.

Last year:Lourdes was 7-0-0 in the HVL, 22-1-0, and finished as the Class A state champion. The Eagles beat St. Paul Academy 2-1 in a shootout in the title game.

Outlook:It would be a mistake to believe that Lourdes will pick up right where it left off last season. This is a hugely different team, with 13 players from the state-title team having graduated. That includes Alan Schembri-Wismayer, Jack Convery and Gabe Salerno. That trio accounted for 80 goals a year ago. Also gone is the team's all-state goalie, Will Elder, as well as a host of other prominent Lourdes players.

Still, the Eagles won't roll over this season. They'll be good again, though they have much to prove with their young roster. The strength of the team should be its defense, with starters Zach Hebl, Jordan Victoria and Stefan Farrugia all back. The potential trouble is finding players who can score. Senior Johnny Lawson is the top returning goal scorer. He had five last year, and will play in the midfield. Lourdes' three forwards are speedy and quick senior Calvin Kim, Hadi Berbari (winning goal in the state tournament) and freshman Dany Berbari. Midfielders are returning starters Lawson, and sophomores Esteban Bedoya and Charlie Rolfs. Starting goalie will be

either Niko Villarraga or Daniel Schembri-Wismayer. Lourdes won't be an experienced team, with just six seniors on the roster, four of whom will start.

Coach Tom Kane says:"I'm hoping that up front we will improve and develop some goal scoring. That is where our biggest concern is, whether we can score or not. None of the guys we have returning were big goal scorers last year."


Returning lettermen

Seniors:Zach Hebl, defense; Johnny Lawson, midfield; Robert Simari, midfield; Calvin Kim, forward; Craig Schmerbauch, defense; Joseph Murray, forward. Juniors:Conlan Creedon, defense; Stefan Farrugia, defense; Justin Kertis, midfield; Daniel Schembri-Wismayer, goalie; Nicolas Villarraga, goalie; Hadi Berbari, forward; Jordan Victoria, defense. Sophomores:Brendan Andrews, midfield; Charlie Rolfs, midfield; Esteban Bedoya, midfield.

Other varsity candidates (Please include players' position)

Seniors: Ian Cierzan, midfield. Juniors:Colin Sloan, defense; Thomas Erickson, defense; Colin Ryan, forward; Carter Jones, midfield. Sophomore:Joe Novak, midfield. Freshmen:Dany Berbari, forward; Tiernan Talbot, midfield.


(All games at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted; home games at Rochester Regional Sports Stadium unless otherwise noted)

Aug. 23 β€” John Marshall

Aug. 24 β€”Duluth Marthall, 1 p.m.

Aug. 27 β€”at Heritage Christian Academy (Maple Grove), 5:30 p.m.

Aug. 29 β€”Mankato East, 5 p.m.

Aug. 31 β€”Grand Rapids, 10:30 a.m.

Sept. 3 β€”at Kasson-Mantorville

Sept. 7 β€”at Breck, 2 p.m.

Sept. 10 β€”Lake City

Sept. 14 β€”Benilde-St. Margaret's, 6 p.m.

Sept. 17 β€”at Pine Island/ZM, 5 p.m.

Sept. 21 β€”at Austin, 10 a.m.

Sept. 24 β€”Stewartville (Fuad Mansour Complex), 5 p.m.

Sept. 26 β€”at St. Thomas Academy

Sept. 28 β€”Minneapolis Washburn, 3 p.m.

Oct. 1 β€”at Byron

Oct. 3 β€”La Crescent

Oct. 8 β€”at Section 1A tournament, TBD

Oct. 10 β€”at Section 1A tournament, TBD

Oct. 12 β€”at Section 1A tournament, TBD

Oct. 15 β€”at Section 1A tournament, TBD

β€” Pat Ruff

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