The Ranger boys soccer team hit a turning point last week, according to head coach Matt Koehn, despite a loss to Mounds View and tie with Park.
Forest Lake took on the Mustangs, who are 4-3-1 overall and 2-1 in the Suburban East Conference, last Tuesday and held them scoreless through regulation play and one overtime period.
The Rangers warded off the Mustangs until the second overtime, where they scored with just 1:38.
Despite the loss, Koehn said goalie Keenan Patterson played phenomenally while recording at least 10 saves.
“Keenan had some big, key saves,” Koehn said. “He stepped up and showed us what he can do — he was focused, ready to play and made a big difference.”
Forest Lake continued its strong play on the road two days later when it took on Park, which the Rangers also took to double overtime, this time holding on for the scoreless tie.
“We knew that game could go either way, but we played hard, and as an outcome, got some points in our conference,” Koehn said. “Hopefully, that will fuel us going into next week.”
Koehn mentioned Patterson’s role again in keeping the Wolfpack’s offense at bay, and also said center midfielder Garrett Peterson is stepping up following a challenge from his head coach.
“We challenged him to be as active as possible and get as many touches on the ball as he can,” Koehn said. “I’d say last week he averaged 90-95 touches. It was great. That’s what he needs to keep doing as a playmaker.”
Now that Forest Lake’s defense is turning around, having given up just four goals in the past three games, as opposed to 19 goals in the previous seven matchups, the head coach said it’s time to find the back of the net on offense.
“We’re passing well, getting good possessions, spreading the offense out,” Koehn said. “Now we just need to get the ball to our forwards and get some quality shots.”
The Rangers are now 2-7-1 and hosted White Bear Lake at home on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Next, Forest Lake travels to Cretin-Derham Hall on Thursday, Sept. 19, for a 5 p.m. matchup.