No. 3 ranked Packers rack up their ninth straight win

Published 9:26 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A couple of Austin sophomores helped the Packer boys soccer team celebrate senior night as No. 3 ranked Austin beat Northfield 4-0 for its ninth straight win in Art Hass Stadium Tuesday.

Austin sophomore Andres Garcia netted a pair of goals, including a well-timed knock-in off a pass from Kevin Ortiz to make it a 3-0 lead early in the second half.

Garcia has burst on to the varsity scene as one of Austin’s go-to scorers this season and he was quick to credit the senior core.

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“It’s been a crazy first year. I didn’t really expect any of this. It’s mostly my teammates and without them I couldn’t be scoring,” Garcia said. “I’ve been playing with these guys for quite awhile now. They’ve been like brothers to me. It’s going to be sad when they leave after this year.”

Austin’s Kevin Ortiz gets tangled trying to get to the ball during the first half against Northfield Tuesday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

Ortiz added a goal of his own on a free kick just five minutes into the game and he also added an assist to Mooday Wah, who scored on a breakaway late in the game.

With the regular season winding down, Ortiz and the other seven seniors are starting to find their urgency.

“It’s kind of sad that it’s almost ending. Our careers will be over for high school, but I’m glad I’m spending it with these guys. We’re ready for some more big games,” Ortiz said. “These younger guys have been getting comfortable with all of us and against bigger opponents. That’s going to help them.”

Austin sophomore Casey Berg picked up his 10th shootout of the season in net for the Packers (12-2 overall, 9-1 Big Nine) and he was quick to credit his teammates for that accomplishment.

“I just let my defense do their thing,” Berg said. “If the opposing team gets a shot off, the defense makes sure that it’s not a good shot and it’s easy for me to make a save. The defense has been all-out amazing. They know what they’re doing and Victor [Velazquez] has helped me a lot to develop and talk a lot more.”

Austin has won its last nine games by a combined score of 37-1 and the team has a chance a share of the Big Nine title if it can win at Rochester Century Thursday. If Austin wins and Rochester Mayo suffers a loss or tie, the Packers would win the Big Nine outright for the second straight year.

Austin’s Lee Reh makes a run for the ball in the first half against Northfield Tuesday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

“It would be nice to not be sharing the title, but we each have one loss,” Austin head coach Jens Levisen said. “The conference is definitely made up with a lot of competitive teams. To be able to do that is big. It shows a well-rounded season. We had that little bit of a hiccup at the beginning, but we used that as a way to motivate the guys and reset focus.”