By Daniel E. McGonigle
The Caledonia Argus
Following their win in the post season over the visiting Winona Cotter Ramblers, the Caledonia Warriors traveled to Cannon Falls to face the Bombers who earned the #10 seed.
The 15th seeded Warriors were blanked by the Bombers, 6-0.
“We played well, all things considered,” said head coach Daniel McGonigle. “We knew it was going to be a battle and we suffered a few injuries early then played catch up the rest of the way.”
The Warriors had the wind in the first half but were unable to capitalize.
“They played a four-three-three with the center forward dropping all the way back on defense, which is a formation we’d not ever seen and we were confused with how to break it,” admitted McGonigle. “They played defensive that way to counter us with the wind and it worked.”
The Warriors trailed 2-0 at half time and in the second half the Bombers, who now had the wind, though admittedly it had died down some, were in a more attacking formation.
“Give them credit they battled hard and we gave up some goals we shouldn’t have,” McGonigle said. “We switched to a more attacking style and had some, what I felt were tough calls go against us with handballs inside the box, one of which happened when our defender was falling to the ground, so they got two penalty kick goals that way.”
Still, McGonigle was proud of how his team played this season.
“We took a big step forward, but I challenged the guys we have to do more to continue the growth. Many of the teams we play have opportunities to play soccer all year long in Rochester and other places, so we need to make sure we keep working on getting better during the off season. Now it comes down to how badly do we want it?”
On Monday, October 7, the Warriors hosted Winona Cotter and defeated them 1-0.
“It was a fun game,” McGonigle said. “Nick Schmitz scored the winning goal after breaking clear of their defense and putting it into the back of the net.”
The goal came well into the second half and things were knotted up at 0-0 at the break.
“We still remained loose which I was proud to see,” McGonigle said. “We kept fighting and kept working and we got the goal we needed.”
After scoring, Cotter went into attack mode sending all 10 players into the offensive formation.
“We fought them off, and it was a good lesson for us,” McGonigle said. “We had controlled possession for much of the game but when they sent numbers at us it meant we had to battle that much harder. I was proud of how hard the boys fought.”
Vs. Cotter to wrap up season
The Warriors ended regular season action against Winona Cotter in an away game on Thursday, October 3.
The Warriors won that game 2-0.
“Gabe Morey scored both of the goals for us that day,” McGonigle said. “He had a penalty kick and scored another goal late in the game to ice the win.”
Morey, along with Austin Meyer, scored the most goals for the Warriors this season.
“Those two had a fun battle going all year long
The boys played a JV/varsity split as both games were held at the same time.
“Cotter doesn’t have lights so we had to split up,” McGonigle said.
The Warriors held possession for much of the game and the smaller pitch helped Cotter in that it neutralized some of the Warriors advantage with speed.
“We finished our season strong,” said McGonigle.
The Warriors would finish the year 5-11-1 overall.