Moving up two classes and to a new conference, the Waconia boys soccer team new they would face some adversity this year, and so far, they have responded. The Wildcats started the year with a loss, but have gone on to win four of their next five, including a comeback win against Chaska.
“After our loss in our first game, we bounced back,” said Asher Johnson. “It was an eye opener for what we’re going to see this year.”
Just like they bounced back from the opening loss, the Wildcats bounced back from a 2-1 deficit Sept. 14 when hosting Chaska. Waconia started the game up 1-0 when Sam Kaeding found Johnson for a first-half score, but the Hawks rallied with two scores of their own to take a 2-1 lead late in the game. But Waconia refused to let frustration get the best of them and worked together to earn the 3-2 win.
“It’s just the little mistakes that happen,” Johnson said of falling behind. “But it’s a team effort. Without the talking, it’s small mistakes that break a team down.”
Waconia knotted the game on a set piece goal when Johnson put the ball in the box and Kaeding somehow sent the ball into the back of the net.
“I didn’t think it counted, that was a really odd goal,” said Kaeding. “But it really kicked us back into shape. It’s what gave us the momentum back. We just take those and can’t complain.”
Johnson struck again when Waconia earned a free kick. The junior midfielder stepped up to the ball and delivered a shot from distance, connecting with the back of the net to give Waconia the 3-2 lead and the win.
“They had a big wall and I knew I couldn’t go near post,” Johnson said. “So I went far post and put everything I had into it and it worked out.”
The two late goals rewarded hard work and persistence to get back into the game.
“We finished really strong, we had to turn it around and just grind our way back,” said Kaeding. “It was a lot of relief after going down early.”
Waconia continued their three game win streak when defeating No. 9 ranked Breck Sept. 20, with Johnson and Kaeding aiding the scoring effort with one assist each. Jacob Krugerud and Jacob Charbonneau did the scoring, while Evan White made eight saves in net.