The Lantern

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Reaching the Goal

As the Cannon Falls Boys Soccer season comes to a close, the Lantern reviews their experiences and wins this season.

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With the season all wrapped up for the Bomber boys soccer team, it is evident that the team’s poster, captioned “Finishing What We Started” accurately represents the season. Boasting a senior class of 10 players, the squad is not short of experience, physical presence, or talent. This year’s senior class is something a bit more special than what future years will be, as they consist of the last remaining players from the program’s birth six years ago. They set out to leave one final mark on the program by producing the most successful season yet, and have done so in style, by doubling the soccer program’s previous record of five wins in a season.

To open the season, the Bombers hosted Schaeffer Academy of Rochester and pulled off a come-from-behind win, courtesy of a last minute winner, getting themselves off the mark for the year. In game three South St. Paul HS came to Cannon Falls for a non-conference match in which the teams battled for 90 minutes to a 0-0 draw, with the Bombers full of determination and being relentlessly solid in the back  Unfortunately, in game four, St. Charles delivered the squad their first defeat of the season with a heartbreaking overtime winner. Following the defeat, the boys rebounded to win three of the next four. On a very special senior night at John Burch Park, Mankato Loyola was sent home with a 1-0 loss, the team seeming unfazed by the fact that they were blown out by the same team 9-1 last season. After the match, all seniors were honored on both the boys’ and girls’ sides. In closing the regular season, the squad walked away with three of four games, securing wins over Jordan and Dover-Eyota, losing only to traditionally state qualified Rochester Lourdes, and then completing the milestone tenth victory at Kasson-Mantorville.

When discussing the change in coaching, senior captain Seth Degroot had only praise regarding Tim Langdon. “I think it has been a very positive change,” he said. “Our coach this year has a lot more experience, with playing himself,” added Degroot, alluding to Langdon’s long background of soccer which included playing at a very high level in Australia. Both Degroot and fellow senior captain, Kendric Banks, agreed that the new head played a definitive role in the successes of the season. “We were the very bottom year of the starting soccer season. Now reaching ten wins for the first time – it’s a really good milestone,” said Degroot. Banks also highlighted how soccer has been more than a game for him, and that it has pushed him to work harder on and off the field, leaving him with a good sense of discipline and work ethic. He hopes the younger players can take something similar away from their time in the program.

Since Langdon took the reins for his first season as head coach, the team has flourished like never before, boasting an overall regular season record of 10-4-2 (W-L-D). Negate the game against powerhouse Rochester Lourdes and the team conceded just 12 goals, something unheard of when looking at previous seasons. Due to their successes in the regular season, the Bombers were seeded eighth of seventeen teams in Section 1A and clinched the opportunity to host their first playoff match, a feat unattained by all previous teams. The Bombers defeated ninth seed Schaeffer Academy with two early goals from Degroot and Banks. It turned out that was all the team would need to advance to the next round against number one seed Austin, who placed third at state last season. Despite pouring endless effort into the match, Austin walked away with a 3-0 win to advance, ending the Bomber soccer season.

But, after a season as successful and memorable as this, it will certainly be exciting to find out what the future holds for this rapidly developing soccer program. This year’s seniors will be remembered for finishing what they were a part of starting six seasons ago on a very high note. As the team prepares to say goodbye to its largest senior class ever, the younger players will be eyeing their chances to fill some big shoes in upcoming seasons.

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Reaching the Goal