The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports Columns

October 10, 2012

Rueda: West soccer teams see records fall

— Few can argue that the past few days have been pretty good for Mankato West soccer.

The West girls opened the Section 2A playoffs Monday with a convincing 9-0 win over Worthington. During the game, junior forward Maddy Burandt set the team’s single-season record for goals (18) and tied the team’s career record for points (62) set by Alyssa Brinkman last year.

A day later, the West boys opened the same playoffs with a 5-0 shutout over New Prague. Senior Bill Leitch scored a goal in the game to become the school’s all-time points leader with 61. Tommy Saffert set the previous record of 60 back in 2005.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the records is that in this day of texts and Facebook and tweets neither player was sure of exactly where they stood before they set the marks.

Leitch knew he was close but didn’t know how many points he needed. Burandt knew at the start of the year the records were within reach, but once the season started, she didn’t even think about it.

“When you’re out there playing a game the records don’t even enter your mind,” Burandt said. “You’re too busy concentrating on what’s happening in the game to worry about things like that.”

Leitch, who also set the record for West career goals (42) against Owatonna earlier this month, could have been speaking for both of them when he said the records were secondary to the victories.

“Records are great but if you’re not getting them in the context of winning they don’t seem to mean as much,” he said. “As long as you win, the records are fine.”

The West girls will be trying to get another playoff win at 4 p.m. today when they host Waseca at Dakota Meadows Field. The West boys will try to do the same at 1 p.m. Saturday against Willmar at DMMS.

The future looks bright for both Leitch and Burandt, although Leitch does not intend to play sports in college. Instead he plans to put his excellent academic record to good use by applying to Stanford and, if that falls through, to one of the Ivy League schools.

Burandt is only a junior and has just started looking at colleges. After getting a chance to build on her records all of next season, she says she’ll seriously consider playing soccer at the NCAA Division II level. She won’t rule out any Division III schools if she believes the fit is right.

“I just want to stay somewhere in the Midwest,” she said. “That’s my only criteria right now.”

Jim Rueda is the Free Press sports editor. To contact him, call 344-6381 or email him at jrueda@mankatofreepress.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports Columns
  • Thoma column: Bartlett's failure no surprise — except to the Twins The Jason Bartlett Experiment ended last week with its inevitable failure; the former shortstop aborted his rehab assignment in Fort Myers and retired. The idea that Bartlett would be a ideal bench component was always illogical. That Ron Gardenhire

    April 21, 2014

  • Courrier: There are no winners in MSU football saga Where to start? In 28 years in the business, there has never been a more odd, twisted, rollercoaster story than the Todd Hoffner saga. And that was before he came back to the Minnesota State campus this week, when strange became tragic and the chance

    April 17, 2014

  • Thoma column: Twins are scoring lot of runs; can this continue? The Minnesota Twins entered Sunday's play with the American League's second-highest number of runs scored. And, they haven't had the advantage of hitting off their own pitching staff. OK, it's dreadfully early in the season, far too early to draw co

    April 14, 2014

  • Courrier: Masters is first sign that winter has been conquered Don't know if anybody noticed but it's been a tough winter, with brutal cold and piles of snow that are now just disappearing. If not for an exciting season of local basketball and hockey, it would have an unbearable four months. Minnesota State had

    April 10, 2014

  • Thoma column: We all know the Ryan Braun saga: Winner of the National League MVP award, flunked a drug test, convinced the arbitrator to toss his suspension on the basis that his sample was mishandled, was snagged anyway in the Biogenesis investigation, suspended

    April 7, 2014

  • Focus will be on Mavericks' QBs this spring The Minnesota State football team began its spring practice period this week, 14 workouts in 27 days, trying to see who has been working hard to maintain a starting position and which backups might be ready to get more playing time in the fall. The b

    April 4, 2014

  • Thoma column: For the remade Twins, 2014 looks like more losing The start of the baseball season is supposed to be about fresh beginnings, wide open promises and the hope that springs eternal in the human breast. I'm here to quash that kind of optimism among the followers of the Minnesota Twins. (I strive to be a

    April 1, 2014

  • Shot clock isn't answer for high-school basketball A few weeks back, the state's basketball fans were all riled up that during a state-tournament game, the Hopkins boys spent much of the four overtimes holding the basketball, preferring not to shoot until the final seconds of each extra period in the

    March 28, 2014

  • Thoma column: Projected lineup is Mauer, Arcia and a bunch of outs The Minnesota Twins begin play in earnest in less than a week -- weather permitting -- and wow, do they have lineup issues. They scored 614 runs last season, 13th in the 15-team American League and almost 100 under the league average (702). Justin Mo

    March 26, 2014

  • Thoma column: Perkins extension may not be such a relief over time In the abstract, long-term contracts for relief pitchers are bad bets for teams. Nobody seems to be too concerned about that rule of thumb when it comes to Glen Perkins' new deal with the Twins. The contract, worth more than $21 million in guaranteed

    March 17, 2014