By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
NORTH MANKATO —
It is known in sports parlance as a “trap” game. It’s a game you’re favored to win but, perhaps because you take your opponent a little lightly, you don’t.
The Mankato West girls soccer team went into the first-round of the Section 2A Tournament Monday as the No. 3 seed and took on 14th-seed Worthington at Dakota Meadows field. The Scarlets refused to fall into the trap as they dominated from start to finish and came away with a 9-0 blowout.
“We knew this wasn’t a team we could look past,” said sophomore forward Asia Abdo, who finished with the first four-goal game of her career. “We played them earlier and only won 1-0 on a late goal so we couldn’t come in here over-confident. We just knuckled down and played our game.”
Despite the four-goal performance of Abdo, it was senior Maddy Burandt who garnered the spotlight Monday. After McKenna Peters opened the scoring in the eighth minute, Burandt made it 2-0 at the 10-minute mark. It was her 17th goal of the year, giving her the West record for single-season goals. The previous mark of 16 was set by Alyssa Brinkman last season.
Late in the second half, Burandt scored again. The goal pulled her into a tie with Brinkman for the school’s career-scoring record at 62 points.
“I had no idea I was close to any records,” Burandt said afterward. “After I scored the coached pulled me off the field and told me what I’d done.
“I’m glad I didn’t know ahead of time. That just puts more pressure on you.”
West coach Crissy Makela is not surprised that Burandt is setting records. She knew even before Burandt joined the varsity squad that she was going to be a major contributor to the program.
“I remember watching her on JV and I said I’ve got to get that girl on varsity,” Makela said. “She was out there treading on people’s backs.
“Maddy has great footwork and great awareness. She’s worked hard and deserves everything she gets.”
After Peters and Burandt put West up 2-0 early in the game, Worthington scored an own-goal in the 20th minute. Abdo went to work soon after, cleaning up two shots the Trojans’ goalie was unable to handle for a 5-0 Scarlets’ lead at the half.
Abdo scored twice more in the second half while Burandt and Hannah Fox also added goals. Peters finished with a goal and two assists and Cara Christiansen also had an assist.
West outshot Worthington 20-2 as Katie Lauer got credit for the shutout. The Scarlets (10-7) host Waseca in a quarterfinal game at 4 p.m. Thursday at Dakota Meadows Field.