Greyhounds cut Ranger season short

The Forest Lake boys soccer team closed its season on Oct. 10 when the third-seeded Duluth East Greyhounds shut out the Rangers, 4-0.

The loss brought the Rangers’ record to 3-13-1 this fall, finishing ninth of 10 in the Suburban East Conference. Stillwater won the SEC with a record of 8-0-1.

Head coach Matt Koehn said his squad didn’t come out as strong as he had hoped in the section matchup.

“We gave up some goals we normally wouldn’t have given up, including free kicks,” Koehn said. “We had a good game plan going in, but we didn’t push as hard all the time as Duluth East did. That being said, we did battle and the boys never quit.”

Koehn said the game was indicative of the type of season Forest Lake had.

The Rangers tied Mounds View, a .500 team in the SEC, and lost by just one goal to Park, but fell 5-0 to Woodbury and 3-0 to Chisago Lakes, both teams Forest Lake can compete with, according to Koehn.

“Overall I think we were a little inconsistent,” Koehn said. “I don’t think we played to our potential, which is too bad because we have some very talented players that we are going to miss next year. I don’t think we always came out ready to play and we may have taken some teams too lightly.”

The Rangers will be graduating 11 seniors this year, including Chris Michalek, Thomas Gadbois, Tristian Palomino, Garret Petersen, Sam Hamilton, Paul Litecky, Austin Beecher, Preston Cowing, Joe Rappa, Stefan Albright and Keenan Patterson.

“We had some extremely skilled seniors, and we are really going to miss their leadership and experience next year,” Koehn said. “But I’m just proud of everyone who stepped foot on the field this year. It was a unique group of individuals and I wish them the best of luck.”

Looking ahead, the head coach said he is anticipating a number of players to step up to fill holes next season and is excited with the results of the junior varsity this fall, which recorded a winning season.

“It was a good year in terms of player development,” Koehn said. “We’re going to continue to load our schedule with tough opponents to challenge us and make us better.”