No. 1 seed Lourdes riding its defense

Maybe experience is overrated.

With a defense that’s led by a couple of new guys to their positions, the Rochester Lourdes boys soccer team has allowed a grand total of three shots in two playoff wins.

They’ll try to keep that wickedly stingy pace up today when they play Winona at 7:30 p.m. in the Section One, Class A finals. Lourdes is the No. 1 seed, Winona No. 7.

Eagles coach Tom Kane expected former midfielders Pat Godfrey and Tyler Sloan to settle in on defense. But to think they’d be doing quite this well would be stretching it.

With Godfrey leading the way, the Eagles (14-2-3) have thrown a blanket on almost everyone they’ve faced. Do that again tonight at Rochester Regional Sports Stadium and Lourdes will be state bound for the 10th time in 14 years.


"We’re playing really well defensively," Kane said. "Pat Godfrey is a senior captain, and he really gets (the defense) going. He has a lot of energy and he does a nice job back there. Pat is one of the most dedicated players I’ve ever had. His motor never shuts down. He’s never not into it."

Godfrey has been that way since he first started kicking a soccer ball, around the age of 7. His passion for the game has never wavered, nor has his work ethic.

The same can’t said for his self-worth in soccer, though.

"I’ve had my ups and downs in soccer," he said. "There have been points in my years of playing that I’ve thought I’ve been the worst player on the team, and there have been points where I’ve thought I’ve been the best. It’s been a roller coaster."

His ride has smoothed out this season, with the ups far exceeding the downs.

But what’s pleased him more than that has been his team’s play and attitude.

"Everyone on our team loves (playing)," he said. "We all work out there. Now, we’re planning on having four games left."

Yes, Godfrey is eyeing a playoff run that would take the Eagles all the way to the state finals.


To do that, though, they’re going to need more than just standout play from their defense, where they’re also paced by middle defenders Karl Krecke and James Armstead, and goalie Will Elder.

Also required will be a more efficient offense. Though Lourdes has generated a pile of shots in its last three games, they’ve converted just seven times.

"We’re controlling everything, but we’re not finishing the way I’d like us to," said Kane, whose team beat Byron 3-0 in the quarterfinals and Albert Lea 2-0 in the semis. "We’ve had plenty of (scoring) chances. If we finished even a third of the chances we’ve created, we’d really be cooking.

"But there is a lot of pressure on these guys. I say it every year, but being seeded No. 1 is tough. But you have to play through that pressure."

The Eagles weren’t able to accomplish that last year. They fell to underdog Austin in last year’s section finals. That came after — as usual — being seeded No. 1.

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