Trojan boys lose big, win big

It was feast or famine for the New Prague High School boys soccer team last week. The Trojans opened their season with a 10-0 loss at Mankato East, then bounced back the next day with an 8-0 win over Cannon Falls.

            The Trojans’ August 26 game with Hutchinson was postponed due to extreme heat. It will be made up on September 23.

            New Prague will host New Ulm at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, then will host St. Peter at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30. The Trojans play at Mankato Loyola at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, then will host Mankato West  at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.

Cougars 10, Trojans 0

            New Prague faced defending Section 2A champion Mankato East in their opener, and the Cougars came hard at the Trojans, scoring within the first three minutes of the game.

            East led 5-0 at halftime and finished with a 10-0 win.

            Coach Jon Hopke said despite the score, goalkeeper Zach Jones had a good game and each of the team’s new players got a chance to learn what the tempo of play will be like at the varsity level.

Trojans 8 Bombers 0

            “We haven't had a game like this ever before,” said Hopke, who has led the Trojans since the varsity program started in 2009. “We were the ‘seasoned team,’ that dominated a new team.” 

            He said it was a bittersweet win, considering the day before the team had been beaten 10-0 and have many times been on the opposite end of such a lopsided win. 

            “Regardless, we tried to use the experience as an opportunity to work on our offensive attack,” Hopke said.

            Paul Hentges scored the game's first goal from a through ball played by Coleman Fierst 2:20 into the first half. Fierst scored the next goal on a pass from Matt Kehrli, then Coleman scored on an assist from Hentges. Hentges scored the final goal of the half on a direct free kick in the final minute.

            “At 4-0 we changed around our players to bring more nonstarters in the game and placed our defenders in scoring positions,” Hopke said. The result was more of the same.

            Newcomer Wyatt Skok assisted Kehrli for a goal, then Skok scored unassisted to put the Trojans up 6-0. At 35 minutes Cannon Falls had a handball in the box which created a penalty kick opportunity, which defender Michael Meyer converted to make it 7-0. The final goal was from a throw-in from defender Adam Karlen to newcomer Gabe Yackley, who sent a header into the goal to make the final score 8-0. 

            Zach Jones had his first shutout since last year’s victory against Loyola. 

            “We were happy to win, but we weren't ecstatic as we knew their pain all too well,” said Hopke. “We hope to take what we have learned and apply it to our next game.”