With wins over new conference foes Robbinsdale Cooper and Chanhassen last week, the Wildcats moved to a record of 7-3-1 on the season, a mark much better than expected when jumping up two classes and moving to a larger conference.
“We’re holding our own,” said Evan White. “At the beginning of the season, if you told us our record right now, I doubt any of us would have thought that.”
After two losses in the first week of play, Waconia has been on a roll, with their only loss coming by one goal. In that stretch, Waconia has won six games with just one loss and a pair of ties.
“As the season goes along, we click more,” said Wally Wisniewski. “Come sections, we’re going to be dangerous.”
The Waconia defense has been stout with four shutouts, including three in a one-week span last week, and their set pieces have been dangerous, as Chanhassen saw Thursday night. The Wildcats excel on throw-ins deep in enemy territory, as well as free kicks and corner kicks, opportunities that the Storm gave often Sept. 30. Waconia responded with a pair of goals by Nick Hayes and Jacob Krugerud (assists from Jacob Charbonneau and Sam Kaeding), including a free kick goal with 1 second left on the clock.
“[Buzzer beaters don’t happen] often, but it’s awesome to have,” said Charbonneau.
Waconia scored both of their goals Thursday in the second half after a scoreless first half, edging past Chanhassen 2-0.
“In the first half we were a little slow, but we came back and did the job,” said Wisniewski.
The Wildcats got on the board in the second when Krugerud got through a mess in the middle to put the ball in the back of the net, then Hayes hit the ball home on a free kick with just 1 second left to seal the game.
“When they’re fouling with 10 seconds left, we just gotta capitalize,” said Wisniewski.
The two goals were more than enough as White recorded his third shutout in a row to give Waconia its seventh win in an eight-save effort.
“We’ve grown up together, a lot of us have been playing together for a really long time,” White said of the team’s success. “We’re just connecting.”
The win comes after the Wildcats defeated Robbinsdale Cooper 3-0, a game that saw Asher Johnson record a hat trick (three goals), getting assists from Charbonneau and Jack Stellick. White had four saves to earn the clean sheet.
The Wildcats ended the week with a 3-3 tied against No. 3 ranked Southwest Christian. Johnson scored twice and assisted Cooper Burman’s goal, while Stellick and Kaeding picked up one assist each. White had 11 saves in the tie.