Ranger boys’ soccer played a tough schedule last week, losing 3-1 to Stillwater at home before losing 1-0 on the road against Roseville.
Forest Lake gave the No. 4 (Class 2A) Ponies team a run for its money last Tuesday, with junior Garrett Petersom scoring the game’s first goal less than five minutes in.
“We came out strong and I think we sent the message that we were here to play,” head coach Matt Koehn said.
Koehn said Stillwater maintained ball control much of the game, and the Rangers struggled to get a lot of shots on goal. He also said the biggest thing his team needs to work on is more ball movement, especially from the outside in, as the squad needs to attack from a wider variety of positions on the field.
The Forest Lake squad has been plagued with injury this season, losing both varsity goalies, junior Nick Ladwig and senior Keenan Patterson, to concussions. Other injuries include senior captain Austin Rizzo, and juniors Joe Rappa and Thomas Gadbois. Senior forward and scoring-power Matt Eiden was also out with illness earlier this season.
Even with the struggle to put a healthy team on the field, the Rangers lost by just one goal to Roseville, who is third in the SEC standings.
Forest Lake held the Raiders scoreless until 15 minutes into the second half when the ball took an unfortunate bounce straight to a Roseville forward.
“We moved the ball well to the end, and had good counter-attacks,” Koehn said. “We just gotta score. Gotta be able to put the ball in the net.”
The Rangers faced White Bear Lake on Tuesday night at home, and play in Forest Lake again at 5 p.m. tonight, Oct. 4, against Hastings. Koehn hopes to add some more wins to the team’s overall record of 4-9-1.
“We’re playing for pride,” Koehn said. “We’re playing for some wins, and to send the message that we are still here to play.”