THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10
WOODBURY 3, PARK 0
The Park boys' soccer team was looking for revenge on Woodbury on Thursday night after losing 3-2 during the regular season. The Wolfpack had some momentum coming into the game after a close win in the quarterfinals on Tuesday night.
The Royals were efficient both offensively and defensively, which resulted in Woodbury winning 3-0 on Thursday night and ending Park's season.
Devin Padelford scored a goal in the first half and another goal in the second half, while Austin Williams scored another goal in the second half to make it a 3-0 game.
It was hard for the Wolfpack to come back from that deficit, which resulted in the loss for Park. The Wolfpack boys finished the regular season with a record of 8-6 and a conference record of 5-4.
That record allowed Park to host their first home section game since 2014 and be placed fifth in the conference standings. It was a good season for the Wolfpack and co-head coach Jason Arnebeck has said many times how special this team was all season long and how much fun it was to coach this group.
The team will graduate 10 seniors this year including the majority of the Park's starting lineup, but the Wolfpack will have plenty of younger players that will need to step up for the 2020 season next year.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8
PARK 2, HASTINGS 1
It was heartbreaking night for one team and a thrilling win for the other team. Park was the team that was excited, while Hastings' season ended in heartbreak.
The Wolfpack boys' soccer team earned the No. 3 seed in the section 4AA tournament and hosted their first section game since 2014. The boys were excited about the opportunity playing in front of a home crowd and they wanted to give their best game of the season to them.
It was a game filled with physicality, grit and a little bit of luck. Ultimately, Park finished off the No. 6 seed Hastings 2-1 to advance to the semifinal game.
"Hastings played a great game and it's unfortunate the game was determined by a late goal in that way," said co-head coach Jason Arnebeck. "I'm proud of our players and the fight they had all game to get this win and continue their season. Being able to host a section game is a big step in our program and continues to build for our future."
Matt Abebrese scored the first goal of the game to give Park an early lead, but Hastings came back to tie the game at 1-1 halfway through the second half.
It looked like the game was heading to overtime until the Hastings goalie made a small mistake. After saving the ball from a shot on goal, the Hastings goalie ran up the field and past the 18-yard line.
Once he found an open teammate, he rolled the ball over to him to start the offensive possession. Before the ball reached his teammate, the official blew his whistle and indicated a penalty on the Hastings goalie.
This gave Park a huge break as the Wolfpack had a free kick at about the 20-yard line as they had a chance to take the lead. With 1:30 left in the game, Abebrese prepared to take the shot and the Hastings and Park players got into position to try and make a play.
"Before I kicked the free shot, my teammates told me to just rip it into the net," Abebrese said. "I was eyeing that top right corner and I just kicked the ball as hard as I could."
Luckily, the ball went past the Hastings defenders and a diving Hastings goalie to record the second goal and game-winning goal for Park. After kicking in his second goal of the game, Abebrese ran over to the home stands and jumped in the air to celebrate a home win.
Abebrese said this type of win can help lead the Wolfpack players as they prepare for their semifinal game on Thursday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.
Park will head up the road to the No. 2 seed Woodbury on Thursday for a crosstown rivalry game and a spot in the section finals. The two teams faced off during the regular season and the Royals came out with a 3-2 win at Park High School.
"We learned that we need to be aggressive from the very beginning against Woodbury," Abebrese said. "They scored very quickly last game and we weren't able to come back, so we just need to make sure that quick start doesn't happen this time."
Woodbury scored three goals fairly quickly in the first half to take a 3-0 lead at the half. Then, the Wolfpack came out and scored two goals to make it close, but weren't able to capture the victory.
Arnebeck and Abebrese both agreed that this game will be fun and these are the games you hope for in the section tournament. They feel prepared and ready for the semifinal game.
"This has been a great group to coach and they deserved to play a home section game," Arnebeck said. "Now, we need to play hard on the road and fight to continue our season past Thursday."
LAKEVILLE NORTH 3, PARK 1
The Park girls' soccer team hit the road on Tuesday night as the No. 7 seed Wolfpack took on No. 2 seed Lakeville North in the opening round of the section 3AA tournament.
It was an offensive first half as Park scored one goal and Lakeville North scored three goals to take a 3-1 lead heading into the second half.
That scored stayed the game for the last 40 minutes as Park's season came to an end on a 3-1 score.
The Wolfpack had a mixture of veteran and young talent throughout the season. Park ended its season with a 5-8-3 record along with a 3-4-2 conference record.
The Wolfpack will graduate 12 seniors this season and return a handful of key players from the 2019 season next year.