Hulne: Austin 11U boys soccer team finds belief to winPublished 6:36pm Monday, July 15, 2013
A little belief can go a long way.
Just ask the Austin 11U boys soccer team, which is headed to the C3 state youth soccer state tournament.
Austin’s road through the South District was anything but routine.
First they had to come back twice to beat La Crescent 8-3 in overtime and then they had to get past a Rochester team which had beaten them 9-0 earlier in the season.
Austin’s lone loss during its 10-1 regular season was to Rochester, which had yielded just 11 goals all season, but the rematch would be a different story.
With the game tied at 2-2 with eight minutes left, Austin converted three straight passes to set up Hector Morales for the game-winner.
Austin preserved the win when keeper Rafe Dolan-Peterson made a big save on a rocket shot from six yards out.
Against La Crescent, Austin took a 4-3 lead when Dylan Hanegraaf scored in transition and Austin piled on four goals in three and half minutes to put it way.
It was at halftime of the La Crescent game that Austin head coach Lucas Mangels told the team he believed in them and belief became the team’s mantra in its win over Rochester.
It is rare in sports that one team can lose to another by a lopsided score and come back to win the next contest, but the Austin 11U boys, who came from behind to win three times during the regular season, obviously aren’t built like most teams.
Coach Mangels said the team stresses on putting the group before the individual and it has paid off.
“I teach the boys the importance of a team effort versus individual effort,” he said.
Austin, which fielded two 11U boys teams this summer, will play in the state tournament July 20 and July 21 at Lakeville.
Rocky Hulne is the sports editor of the Austin Daily Herald. Follow him on twitter @RockyHulneADH.