Northfield knocks out Austin boys soccer team in semifinals

Published 5:43 pm Saturday, October 11, 2008

ROCHESTER — The Packers couldn’t keep pace in a 3-1 loss to Northfield in the Section 1A soccer semifinals at Rochester Community Technical College Saturday.

The No. 2 seeded Raiders (12-5-3 overall) took the lead for good in the 31st minute when Sam Estenson tipped in a direct kick from Caleb Yurek.

“It was a pretty good play by them and (Austin keeper) Ryan (Rasell) was up a little too,” Austin head coach Jens Levisen said. “But I wouldn’t single it out on Ryan. All season we’ve said it takes a whole team to get scored on. It was something (Northfield) they practiced and they were ready for.”

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Austin’s best chance to tie came with 12:30 left in the match when Luis Ruiz’s corner kick sailed over Jacob Brehmer’s head on a corner kick.

“If I would’ve ran far post I would’ve been closer,” Brehmer said. “There were a couple guys there and it just went through. I misjudged how far it was gonna go with the wind.”

Northfield added an insurance goal in the 73rd minute when Aaron Stets scored on a rebound off a 40-yard direct kick that Rasell deflected.

While Austin (11-7-2 overall) had seven of their 13 shots in the second half, there weren’t a lot of clean looks as Northfield played tough defense.

“They packed the defense in once they got up and it was almost impossible to get a shot off. It was frustrating,” Brehmer said.

The Raiders opened the match strong as they scored 55 seconds into the contest when Stets knocked in a side throw from Scott Abdelia — who the lobbed the ball over the Austin defense.

“That was a wake up call,” Levisen said. “I don’t think we were expecting it and there it was.”

Austin tied the match at 1 when eighth grader Francisco Torres headed in a 40-yard pass from Niclas Ryberg in the 26th minute. Torres also had an assist in Austin’s win over Faribault.

“We’ll be looking to get a lot from him (in the future),” Levisen said. “He did a very nice job of stepping it up.”

The third-seeded Packers were called for seven yellow cards and one red card in the loss, with five of the cards coming in the second half.

“I don’t accept those (cards), but I see that that’s their heart and showing the team that they’re still in it no matter what the score. I respect them as a team to keep each other going,” Levisen said.

Most of the cards came from Austin players arguing with officials.

“We got called for a lot of fouls and I haven’t completely wrapped my head around all of them,” Levisen said. “But what I see is it was a lot of heart and as they’re playing hard they get called for a lot of things.”

Brehmer, a junior forwards, said it was a hard way for the Packers to end their season.

“It was tough to focus because the (officiating) was really questionable,” he said. “I think we did a pretty good job, the reason for the cards was people cared so much.”

Rasell had six saves for Austin —which played the match without senior midfielder Drew Halvin, who suffered a broken bone against Red Wing. Austin’s other three seniors finishing their careers were defenders Josh Needham and Mike Page, and midfielder Luis Ruiz.