Packers are finding their footing as Levisen grabs 200th win

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Austin boys soccer team had a perfect gift for their head coach as Jens Levisen reached a major milestone during a 4-0 victory over Northfield (2-7 overall) in Art Hass Stadium Tuesday.

It was the third straight win for the Packers, who have outscored opponents 12-1 in that stretch, and it was career win No. 200 for Levisen, who is in his 19th season on the job.

“In the season you want to focus on the guys that it is about. There was no conversation before the game about me being at this number. The guys just had to show up and play like we’re capable of playing,” Levisen said. “I feel like we’re doing that better. Overall, thinking about how long I’ve been here and the players that have come through, I’ve seen those players become adults and some have become parents. It’s cool, to say the least.”

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Under Leveisen’s guidance, the Packers have won six section titles, and have taken third at the state tournament two times.

Ter Reh scored the second goal of the night in the first half for the Packers (4-5-1 overall). He has played for Levisen for four years and he has learned a lot from his head coach.

“He’s a really good coach. He pushes us to work hard. He’s taught us that the only way to win is to work hard,” Reh said. “Tonight, it just felt good to be at home. It gives us confidence to take shots. We’ve also been taking a lot of shots in practice.”

Austin sophomore Kylar Flanders stopped seven shots to score his third shutout of the season. He credited the defense of his teammates Ter Reh, Nicholas Asmus, Collin Berg and Taw Reh.

“With the people in front of me, it makes it very easy,” Flanders said. “We have three really good seniors and a very good sophomore. It makes it very easy on me compared to what other keepers would get.”

Flanders is in his first year playing under Levisen and he’s already learning how intense soccer can be for a program that has built up big goals over the past decade.

“I’ve learned a lot from (Levisen),” Flanders said. “The atmosphere he makes for us is electric and it makes it very enjoyable.”

Eighth grader Su Reh, senior Moo Htoo and junior Leo Hernandez all scored one goal in the win for the Packers.

Tuesday’s win was the second game of a four game homestand and the Packers have just four games remaining in the regular season. Austin will host Winona at 7 p.m. Thursday and host Byron at noon Saturday in a pair of important games for section seeding.

“This is a big week. We were expecting a big game with Northfield and that’s what we had. We’ll go back to practice, we’ll show up for Winona on Thursday and we won’t think about anything after that until we get through it,” Levisen said. “It’s three big section tests in a row for us.”