Pack is back: Austin soccer team is headed back to state

Published 9:52 pm Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Pack is back on top.

Austin wrapped up its second straight Section 1A title when it downed Rochester Lourdes by a score of 1-0 in overtime to clinch a trip to the Minnesota Class A State Boys Soccer Tournament in Art Hass Stadium Thursday.

Caleb Simerson scored the game winning goal for the Packers (16-2 overall) off a corner from Mooday Wah just three minutes into overtime.

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Austin head coach Jens Levisen said the road to state was a little tougher this time around than it was last year.

“I would definitely say [it was harder this year]. We started off the season with a target on our backs and every team we played [this year] played us like it was a big game,” Levisen said. “We had to battle through and Lourdes definitely came out played hard all game tonight. We both had opportunities and it just came down to who would get the one to make a difference and we were the ones who got the one that made a difference.”

Austin captains Mooday Wah, from left, Kevin Ortiz and Victor Velazquez race for the field with Section 1A championship trophy. Eric Johnson/

The Packers had lost to Rochester Lourdes 3-2 on Sept. 8 and that loss helped the Packers focus on playing their brand of soccer.

Austin lost to Rochester Mayo, who it shared the Big Nine title with, 1-0 on Sept. 11, but it hasn’t lost since. Heading into the state tournament, the Packers have now won 13 games in a row and the team has racked up 13 shutouts this season.

Austin, which has now won three Section 1A titles in school history, took third in the state tournament last season. The Packers will compete in the state quarterfinals next week with an opponent, date and time to be determined.

Read more here: Simerson’s OT goal sends Austin to state