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A banner year: All-State selections fill out the 2022 PB All-Area Boys Soccer Team

Led by Post Bulletin Player of the Year Bryan Islas-Aguirre, this year's All-Area Boys Soccer Team is as deep as ever with more than half of the 22-player list being represented on all-state teams.

The 2022 PB All-Area Boys Soccer Team
Mayo’s Bryan Islas-Aguirre (7) reacts after scoring a goal in overtime for the win during a Section 1AAA championship boys soccer game against Owatonna on Oct. 18, 2022, in at Mayo High School in Rochester. Islas-Aguirre is one of many all-state honorees listed on this year's team.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo
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BRYAN ISLAS-AGUIRRE

School: Mayo

Year: Senior

Position: Midfielder/Wing

2022 stats: 15 goals, 10 assists

Why they made the team: Whenever the ball was at the feet of Islas-Aguirre, the possibility of something special wasn’t too far behind. There was no one better in the area when it comes to possession, seemingly having the ball on a string at all times, while knowing where his teammates were at all times. He was named First-Team Class AAA All-State, scoring 15 goals with a team-best 10 assists en route to being the 2022 Post Bulletin Boys Soccer Player of the Year. The three-time All-Big Nine Conference performer finished his career with 30 goals and 17 assists.
“He's a dynamic player who has that 'It' factor,” Mayo coach Tim Jennings said. “He looks dangerous every time he gets the ball. I honestly think he's the best attacking player in southeastern Minnesota.”

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'The most dangerous attacking player in southeastern Minnesota,' few possessed the 'it' factor like Mayo senior Bryan Islas-Aguirre, our All-Area Player of the Year.

Lourdes boys soccer
McKaid Schotzko of Lourdes heads away a free kick against St. Charles/Lewiston-Altura on Oct. 15, 2022, at RCTC Stadium.
Alex VandenHouten / Post Bulletin file photo

MCKAID SCHOTZKO

School: Lourdes

Year: Senior

Position: Defender

2021 stats: 7 goals, 4 assists

Why they made the team: Lourdes coach Sean Kane called Schotzko the best defender regardless of class in the state. It’s a legitimate argument. The senior was one of five finalists for Class A Mr. Soccer, pairing his great size (6-foot-4) and speed with a ferocity that stopped opposing attackers in their tracks. Few could match his tenacity both in the air and on the tackle. At times, it appeared there was a clone of him due to his ability to provide support in both the attacking and defensive third. Truly as good of a defender as one will find, he was named HVL player of the year and finishes his career as a back-to-back two-time Class A all-state honoree.

Century, John Marshall boys soccer
John Marshall’s Mechwa Meermarew (7) controls the ball during a boys soccer game against Century on Sept. 29, 2022, at Century High School in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

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MECHWA MEERMAREW

School: John Marshall

Year: Junior

Position: Forward

2022 stats: 11 goals, 7 assists

Why they made the team: Meermarew is probably the fastest player on this team. Pairing that with great vision, soccer IQ and a great touch, the junior was a key reason why the Rockets enjoyed their best season since 2014, leading JM in both goals and assists. The amount of consistent pressure he put on the opposing defense alone would put him on this list, but his ability to finish and deliver opportunities for his teammates is what truly separates him.
“Mechwa is a real creative force, capable of getting into dangerous positions and playing killer final pass balls,” JM coach Abdul Noor said. “He is flexible and happy on either wing forward to use his lightning speed to give defenders hard time as they most of the time mark him with two or three defenders.”

Century, John Marshall boys soccer
Century’s Abdirasak Bulale (10) takes a shot on goal during a boys soccer game against John Marshall on Sept. 29, 2022, at Century High School in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

ABDIRISAK BULALE

School: Century

Year: Senior

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Position: Forward

2022 stats: 19 goals, 7 assists, two hat tricks

Why they made the team: If there was a most improved award, Bulale would have a good claim for it. The senior blossomed this year, becoming exactly what coach Hal Houghton needed for a team that had graduated 17 seniors from a Big Nine Conference championship squad a year ago. Extremely light on his feet, Bulale possesses a great touch with good ball skills but his improved strength helped him put it all together this season. He was named Second-Team Class AAA All-State and All-Big Nine after scoring 19 goals.
“Bulale stepped up in ways none of us imagined this season,” Houghton said. “He was physically stronger, quicker and far more aggressive in his attack. His shot improved dramatically from last year. He also took on a leadership role with other players. He talked more, gave input and as a result was listened to by teammates.”

Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa, St. Peter boys Section 2A Championship soccer
Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s Jason Ryan celebrates after winning a Section 2A Championship boys soccer game against St. Peter on Oct. 20, 2022, in Austin. Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa defeated St. Peters 3-0.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

JASON RYAN

School: Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa

Year: Senior

Position: Goalkeeper

2022 stats: 66 saves, 8 goals allowed, .892 save%

Why they made the team: Ryan wasn’t tested often, but when he was there was nobody better in the area between the pipes. The senior was a key component in helping PIZM to its second consecutive section title, allowing just eight goals, while making 66 saves during the season. He was named First-Team Class A All-State and All-HVL.

ROBERTO PEREZ-ORDAZ

School: Winona Cotter

Year: Junior

Position: Forward

2022 stats: 28 goals, 16 assists

Why they made the team: Perez-Ordaz rewrote the Cotter record books this season, setting program marks for goals (28) and assists (16) in a season. The second-year international student from Mexico was electric, using his strength and technical ability to create and score goals. He was named First-Team Class A All-State, All-Three Rivers and the top player in the TRC for a Cotter team that reached the Section 1A championship.

TEIS LARSEN

School: Winona

Year: Junior

Position: Forward

2022 stats: 15 goals, 6 assists

Why they made the team: Larson has been a mainstay for the Winhawks program since an eighth-grader, but really took a leap under first-year coach Oscar Uribe. With 15 goals and 6 assists, he accounted for 21 Winona’s 29 goals this season, picking up his third consecutive All-Big Nine Conference honors, while also being named First-Team Class AA All-State. At 35 career goals, he’s on pace to become the program’s all-time leading goal-scorer.

091421-BYRON-STEWARTVILLE-BOYS-SOCCER-7932.JPG
Byron’s Ryan Boyken (11) heads the ball during a boys soccer game against Stewartville on Sept. 14, 2021, in Byron.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

RYAN BOYKEN

School: Byron

Year: Senior

Position: Defender

Why they made the team: Boyken is right up there with Schotzko when it comes to the top defender in the area. He was normally tasked with marking the top attacker from each opponent, proving successful more often than not. He was named All-HVL with several area coaches listing him among the most impressive players from the season.

101621-lourdes-cotter-bsoc-8202.jpg
Lourdes' Joey Lonzo (2) controls the ball during a Section 1A semifinal match against Cotter on Oct. 16, 2021, in Rochester.
Andrew Link / Post Bulletin file photo

JOEY LONZO

School: Lourdes

Year: Senior

Position: Forward

2022 stats: 11 goals, 18 assists

Why they made the team: Wearing a black facial mask because of a broken nose, Lonzo terrorized opponents in a number of different ways. With top-end speed, the track and field standout put tremendous stress on opposing defenses. But his ability to see the whole field and deliver precision passes is what separated him. His 18 assists were good for fourth in the state across all classes. He was named First-Team Class A All-State and All-HVL.
“Our best attacking option and one of the best forwards in the area,” coach Kane said. “One of the best passers in the area as well.”

Lake City, Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa boys soccer
Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s Brandt Konik (3) controls the ball defended by Lake City’s Cris Ramirez (8) during a boys soccer game on Oct. 4, 2022, in Lake City.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

BRANDT KONIK

School: Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa

Year: Senior

Position: Midfielder

2022 stats: 7 goals, 11 assists

Why they made the team: Konik was the PB’s third finalist for area boys soccer player of the year. He was the quarterback of the midfield for coach and father Rafal Konik, consistently seeing the field better than most as evident by his 11 assists. Dynamic in the air and blessed with a strong left foot, Konik was a threat from anywhere in the attacking third. Konik was named to his fourth All-HVL team and garnered all-state honors for the second consecutive season by being named to the Class A First-Team.

Mayo, Maple Grove State Class AAA Quarterfinal boys soccer
Mayo’s Kymani Chitulangoma (12) takes a shot during a State Class AAA Quarterfinal boys soccer game against Maple Grove on Oct. 25, 2022, in Farmington.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

Kymani Chitulangoma

School: Mayo

Year: Junior

Position: Forward

2022 stats: 16 goals, 7 assists

Why they made the team: As a sophomore, Chitulangoma watched in the stands as Mayo made its run to the Class AAA semifinals, vowing to help the Spartans reach the same moment the next season. The junior made good on that promise, blending great size and blazing speed to become Mayo’s top striker as the Spartans reached another Class AAA state tournament. “Great ability to hold the ball, dribble at opponents, score goals, cross balls in, etc., good vision,” coach Jennings said. “Probably the best offensive player in the air in southeast Minnesota, scoring multiple goals with his head. And beautiful goals at that.”

SECOND TEAM

MASON APSE

School: St. Charles/Lewiston-Altura

Year: Senior

Position: Midfielder

2022 stats: 8 goals, 13 assists

Why they made the team: Apse was a key playmaker for a SCLA team that went 10-6-2 — its first winning season since 2019. He was involved in 21 of the team’s 51 goals, finishing top 20 in the state with 13 assists. He became the first in program history to be named all-state, garnering Class A Second-Team All-State honors.
“He is a positive leader for our team, and a positive role model in our community helping coach in our rec soccer program and assisting with youth soccer camps, as well,” SCLA coach Ben Barclay said.

101921-LOURDES-DOVER-EYOTA-CHAMPIONSHIP-SOCCER-0985.jpg
Lourdes’ Sam Theobald (28) celebrates with his teammates after scoring the second goal during a Section 1A boys soccer championship match against Dover-Eyota Oct. 19, 2021, at Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester. Lourdes defeated Dover-Eyota 2-0.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

SAM THEOBALD

School: Lourdes

Year: Sophomore

Position: Midfielder

2022 stats: 9 goals, 6 assists

Why they made the team: One of the better two way players in the area, Theobald had a hand in controlling dynamic midfielders such as PIZM’s Konik and Cotter’s Perez-Ordaz, while also being a key contributor on the attack for the Eagles. He finished with 9 goals and 6 assists in what is surely a taste of what is to come from the the talented sophomore.

Mayo, Maple Grove State Class AAA Quarterfinal boys soccer
Mayo’s Alec McBane tries for a goal during a State Class AAA Quarterfinal boys soccer game against Maple Grove on Oct. 25, 2022, in Farmington.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

ALEC McBANE

School: Mayo

Year: Senior

Position: Defender

2022 stats: 3 goals, 1 assist

Why they made the team: The anchor of the Mayo defense the past two years, McBane did all the grunt work in the back end for the always well-organzied Spartans. The senior rarely ever came off the field, helping Mayo to nine clean sheets in 18 games this season. For his career, he had a hand in 17 shutouts in 38 games.

BRADY PICKETT

School: Stewartville

Year: Senior

Position: Forward

2022 stats: 20 goals, 2 assists

Why they made the team: One of the top goal-scorers in the area, Pickett set the Stewartville school mark with 20 goals this season. His 35 for his career were also a school record. His strength is what set him apart, but his possession skills took a leap this year. A two-year captain was instrumental in the development of the Stewartville program.

MAVRICK SOBCZAK

School: Dover-Eyota

Year: Senior

Position: Defender

2022 stats: 2 goals, 5 assists

Why they made the team: Sobczak has been a steady presence in the middle for D-E for years, but really stepped it up this year when the squad was ravaged by injuries. Sobczak was named First-Team Class A All-State for that reason. He was the rock and will be tough to replace next season.
“Mavrick controlled our defense and physically dominated most games we played this year,” D-E coach John Pittenger said.

JOEL THWANG

School: Austin

Year: Sophomore

Position: Forward

2022 stats: 5 goals, 4 assists

Why they made the team: Thwang was a Class A First-Team All-State selection, providing both scoring and play-making for a young Austin team won a Section 1AA championship. A contributor on varsity since eighth-grader, Thwang and fellow sophomore Leo Hernandez will be fun to watch the next two years.
"A leader on the field, has excellent technical skill and is tenacious," Austin coach Jens Levisen said.

CHRISTOPHER TREE

School: Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa

Year: Junior

Position: Defensive midfielder

2022 stats: 7 goals

Why the made the team: Tree was the leader of the back end for the Wildcats, providing stability time and time again. With seven goals, he was also great in the attack, displaying good ball skills and underrated physicality. It’s why he was named Second-Team Class A All-State in addition to his second straight All-HVL honor as just a junior.

JONATHAN GOING

School: Winona Cotter

Year: Junior

Position: Goalkeeper

2022 stats: 64 saves, 7 goals allowed, 90% save percentage, 17-1

Why they made the team: Long and agile with soft hands, Going consistently made saves that would make any highlight reel. He was fearless too, coming off his line with eviction to halt promising attacks. The two-time captain was named All-Three Rivers Conference and is regarded as one of top keepers in the area, regardless of class.

Century, John Marshall boys soccer
John Marshall’s Ralph Nah, left, shows his shirt that says “We run this city” as he and Dani Al Attoza celebrate a goal during a boys soccer game on Sept. 29, 2022, at Century High School in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

RALPH NAH

School: John Marshall

Year: Senior

Position: Forward/Midfielder

2022 stats: 3 goals, 7 assists

Why they made the team: Like a bulldog chasing a bone, Nah played with a relentless tenacity that often frustrated opponents. He was great at using his strength to fend off defenders when it came to making runs or keeping possession, doing the dirty work for the Rockets.

JON 'TRAJAN' MCBROOM

School: John Marshall

Year: Senior

Position: Midfielder

2022 stats: 3 goals, 6 assists

Why they made the team: This is the second year in a row that McBroom finds himself on this list. A four-year starter and three-time All-Big Nine selection was essential in helping rebuild the JM boys soccer program, providing stability in the middle time and time again. This season, he, Meermarew and Nah helped the Rockets win 11 games — more than the previous four seasons combined.

ELIJAH MILLER

School: Lake City

Year: Senior

Position: Defender

Why they made the team: With 10 wins, Lake City enjoyed its best season in the history of its 19-year program. Miller was a key reason why. The All-HVL selection was considered by many around the area as one of the top defenders, marking the best attackers, while also keeping the Tigers structured in the back.

HONORABLE MENTION

Austin: Leo Hernandez, so., midfielder (second-team Class A all-state, All-Big Nine). Byron: Liam Schick, sr., forward (14 goals, 7 assists, All-HVL). Cannon Falls: Jack Frosberg, sr., midfielder (All-HVL). Century: Aaron Zhao, jr., defensive midfielder (All Big Nine). Kasson-Mantorville: Lars Ingram, jr., goalkeeper (All-HVL), Nels Carstensen, sr., midfielder (All-HVL). La Crescent-Hokah: Wyatt Farrell, jr., forward/midfielder (11 goals, 4 assists). Lake City: Thomas Brand, jr., forward (All-HVL); Alex Oliver, jr., forward (All-HVL); Uriser Baltazar-Gonzalez, so., forward (All-HVL). Lourdes: Tziyon Morris, so., defender. Mayo: Juan Ibarra, so., defensive center midfielder (All-Big Nine); Xavi Laack, sr., (4 goals, 3 assists; All-Big Nine); Noah Bestrom, sr., defense; PIZM: Hunter Streit, jr., defender/midfielder (back-to-back All-HVL); Seth Konik, so., midfielder (4 goals, 7 assists, All-HVL); Ben Grogg, sr., midfielder (Class A state all-tournament team, 2 goals, 2 assists); Carter Christopherson, jr., forward (11 goals, 3 assists). Red Wing: Samuel Noser, jr., midfielder (All-Big Nine). SCLA: Jonas Barclay, jr., midfielder (12 goals, All-Three Rivers); Aidan Olson, jr., defender/midfielder (10 goals, 6 assists, All-Three Rivers). Stewartville: Colton Kropp, fr., midfielder (3 goals, 6 assists). Winona: Max Uribe, jr., goalkeeper (All-Big Nine); Rory Briggs, sr., midfielder (All-Big Nine); Mason Mueller, sr., midfielder (All-Big Nine). Winona Cotter: Elliot Fitzgerald, jr., forward (16 goals, 15 assists); Carson Roeder, so., midfielder (16 goals, 16 assists).

Alex VandenHouten has been a sports reporter at the Post Bulletin since Sept. 2021. He loves to go hiking, biking, snowshoeing and just simply being outdoors with his wife Olivia. Readers can reach Alex at avandenhouten@postbulletin.com.
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