LAKE CITY — Intercept passes on defense, push the ball through the midfield, launch the ball to attackers, repeat. That’s the strategy Lake City employed against Triton/Kenyon-Wanamingo on Monday as the Tigers won handily, 9-0.
More than half of those goals came off the leg of senior midfielder Aidan Palmer as he ended with five. Palmer was dominant in the midfield and attacking zone, with ball control that was on another level compared to any defenders the Cobras sent his way.
Palmer had the support of a defensive line that pressured Triton/K-W’s attackers all game long, forcing them into turning the ball over and allowing the Tigers to quickly advance the ball to its midfielders who were unflappable in their ball possession.
“When we played the last game, we were slow to get to the ball, we were slow to engage, we weren’t winning the 50-50s. We still won the game but we should have done a better job,” Lake City boys’ soccer head coach Patrick Palmer said. “Going into our one practice before this game, we talked about getting to the ball right away. I told them ‘I don’t want to see you getting upset with yourself, if you lose the ball, go get the ball back.’”
The message was heard loud and clear by his team. Whenever there was a loose ball, it was a certainty that a Tiger wasn’t far away. Just as important, those loose balls became contested balls within seconds.
With Lake City controlling the flow of the game, the goals began flooding in. Aidan Palmer started the scoring off with two goals in the first 15 minutes of the game.
Steven Ramirez, Owen Meyers and Jon Harvey all scored before the first half ended to give Lake City a 5-0 edge through 40 minutes.
The second half began much like the first — Aidan Palmer scoring goals. This time he scored three goals in a seven-minute span before Chris Ramirez put on the finishing touches.
Although the score was lopsided in their favor and his team played dominant defense, Patrick Palmer still found things for the Tigers to improve upon.
“I noticed when they either go ahead really far or something breaks down, they tend to fall back to their old roots of sending the ball,” he said. “I’m trying to build a team that focuses on passing, building up on the sides, really coordinating well with each other. Yes they won and did a good job, I’d just wish they would’ve spent more time passing up the field rather than just send it and letting the fastest kid get the ball.”
His focus in the days ahead of their Thursday matchup with PIZM is to have the team work on coordination and passing drills. PIZM will be Lake City’s first opponent this year with a win under its belt, as the Tigers’ last two opponents are still winless.
Lake City is now 2-0 on the season and sit atop the HVL standings.
PIZM 5, Kasson-Mantorville 0
After settling for a 1-1 tie with Lourdes last week, PIZM had no trouble with Kasson-Mantorville in the Wildcats’ home opener, winning 5-0.
PIZM pulled ahead to a 3-0 lead by the end of the first half with goals from Drew Christopherson, Jack Smothers and Dan Mikeao. In the second half, Mikeao and Josh Hutton scored one goal apiece.
Corey Peters stopped both shots on goal for PIZM.
“I think we will try to always be more attacking based,” PIZM head boys’ soccer coach Rafal Konik said. “We have to look for the weakness and penetrate the weakness, whatever it is.”
Cannon Falls 2, Byron 4
Cannon Falls wasn’t able to replicate the success it had the week prior when they defeated Stewartivlle. On Monday, the Bombers were tasked with facing Byron and lost, 4-2.
No individual stats were available.