Ranger soccer boys advance in section playoffs

For the first time in five years, the Forest Lake soccer boys advanced past the first round of section play Thursday night after defeating Andover 3-2 in overtime on the Huskies’ homefield.

Andover struck early in the first few minutes, but the Rangers came back fighting. Senior Matt Eiden scored with ten minutes to go in the first half, despite a constant double-team effort by the Huskies throughout the matchup.

Andover made another strong appearance early in the second half with a quick score to make the game 2-1, and again Forest Lake answered with just five minutes to go in the game, this time from junior Paul Litecky.

The Huskies took advantage of Forest Lake’s defensive anchor, senior Dan Mollett, leaving the game due to injury. Andover had two open shots on net within the final two minutes of regulation, but Ranger goalie Keenan Patterson made two stellar saves to send the nail-biter into overtime.

After five minutes of play, senior Austin Rizzo fought his way through the defensive line and delivered the assist to senior Matt Keith for theĀ  3-2 sudden death victory.

The Rangers will travel to Blaine for the second round of section playoffs on Saturday to face the No. 8 (Class 2A) Bengals.