Packer boys open soccer playoffs with a big winPublished 10:41pm Tuesday, October 8, 2013
The No. 2 seeded Packers didn’t waste any time taking control as the opened the Section 1A tournament with a convincing 8-1 win over No. 15 Cannon Falls in Art Hass Stadium Tuesday.
Ochan Ochogi and Levi Veirkandt each scored goals in the first two minutes to put Austin (6-6-5 overall) up 2-0 early on and a total of six different Packers scored in the win, which saw Austin set a season-high for goals scored in a game.
“We came out with that fire and we were ready to go,” Austin head coach Jens Levisen said. “I thought the guys played well and moved the ball around and I was able to get a lot of guys in. Some guys got their first or second game of varsity action tonight.”
Ochogi, a sophomore, who was playing in his first Section 1A game showed no signs of fear. He put the Packers on the board with a breakaway with 38:10 left in the half, he made it 3-0 with a goal with 13:49 left in the half and he completed his first half hat trick with a goal that came with 12:16 left in the half.
“I just listened to my coach and he told us to go hard,” Ochogi said.
The Packers had won just one of their previous seven contests headed into Tuesday’s game as they had three ties over that stretch. The Packers scored just four goals in those seven games, but Tuesday saw their offense come to life.
“This is gives us so much motivation for the next one and hopefully we keep on scoring,” Austin senior Franco Ortiz said.
Jeremy Olmsted, Roel Torres, Carlos Verra and Noah Brehmer all scored for the Packers against Cannon Falls and Vierkandt, Olmsted, Brehmer and Sean Baker had assists.
Austin senior Clark Munger said the bulk of players scoring gives Austin a boost as it prepares to take on No. 7 seeded Albert Lea Thursday in Art Hass Stadium at 7 p.m.
“It’s a big boost to see everybody score,” Munger said. “It’s going to be tough (against AL) and it’s a big rivalry. It’s going to be hard.”
The Tigers (7-9-1 overall) beat Stewartville 5-0 on Tuesday and they lost to the Packers 3-1 in overtime in AL Sept. 5.
Levisen is expecting a tough game from Austin’s main rival.
“We know they’re going to come out to play,” he said. “They can be competitive and we’re definitely not looking past them. They’ll come out and play a good game and we’ll have to make sure that we’re focused.”
If Austin wins on Thursday, it will host a Section 1A semifinal game Saturday at Art Hass Stadium.