The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

August 17, 2013

Soccer teams ready for kick-off

(Continued)

Loyola opens the season Friday at Hutchinson.

EAST BOYS: The Cougars have two big holes to fill as all-state player Albert Podshivaylov and defender Nick Dahmann have graduated. Coach Jerrad Aspelund will look to find replacements from among the 60 student-athletes he has in grades 8-12.

East returns two of its top scorers from last year in sophomores Ben Schwartz and Brandon Sloniker. Nick Olson returns experience at the goalkeeper position. Senior Christian Eiden had figured to contribute as a center-midfielder, but he broke his fibula right before practice and is out for the season.

Defensively, the Cougars return two strong players in Josh Sloniker and Nathan Dreyer. Both are seniors.

Defending Big Nine champion Owatonna is the favorite to repeat in the conference. Rochester Century and Rochester Mayo should also be near the top.

"I'd like to think we can compete for a spot in the Top 4," Aspelund said. "We've been right up in that area almost every year, and there's no reason to believe we can't do it again."

In Section 2A, East and crosstown rival Mankato West figure to be the favorites. They were two of the strongest teams a year ago as East snuck past West in the section semifinals in a shootout and then beat Fairmont to earn a state tournament berth.

The Cougars open the season at 4:30 p.m. Thursday with a game against New Prague.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Outdoors

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Live Moondogs coverage
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Cristiano Ronaldo -- TEAMING UP WITH LIL WAYNE ... Rapper Starting Sports Management Biz McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve World Cup Hero Mario Gotze -- HALF-NAKED MUD BATH ... With Hot Model GF RG3 answers critics, grateful for coaches' support Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Denver Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen Resigns Control Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Jack White's Cub Face Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Eli, Giants learning new offense How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Boy With Life-Threatening Tumor Gets Wish To Visit PNC Park, Meet Cutch