The Big Lake boys soccer team has already matched its win total from all of last year by winning two of its first five games. And with a little luck and some favorable bounces, the team could be 4-1.
The Hornets opened the season on a sour note with a 5-0 loss at Sartell. Coach Mike Baldwin said the team was pretty tired after a one-hour bus ride and two more hours waiting for the game to start in a 100-degree heat index.
“We made mistakes, but it wasn’t indicative of the way we can play,” he said. “They got fatigued.”
In the second game of the season, the Hornets missed some scoring chances and lost at home to Hutchinson, 3-2.
Again, a few mistakes made the difference.
“We controlled midfield and had chances to score,” said Baldwin. “They intercepted a pass back to the goalie and scored.”
Zach Cypull and Zach Strom scored second half goals as the Hornets mounted a comeback after trailing early. Charly Dongmo assisted on one goal, Cypull assisted on the other.
Hutchinson scored on a late goal to win the game. But Baldwin said the team started to pull together as the game progressed.
“We’re running a new formation this year and now they’re starting to get it,” he said.
Big Lake’s next game was a 7-0 dominant win over Zimmerman where the Hornets controlled play. The score was 4-0 at the half and Big Lake kept up the pressure throughout.
Zach Cypull and Will Priest each had two goals. Landon Priest, Zach Strom and Dongmo each had a goal. Tamren Acosta, Tyler Huver, Austin Brethorst, Cypull, Will Priest and Strom had assists.
In the next game against Cambridge-Isanti, Dongmo scored late in the first half with an assist from Acosta. It was the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory against a good defensive team.
Monday, the Hornets lost a heartbreaker to North Branch, 2-1 in a game they could have won.
“We controlled the game and dominated the middle,” said Baldwin.
The Hornets could have easily scored four goals, but got just one in the first half. Andrew Lange scored the goal with an assist by Dongmo.
“We had 22 shots, hit three posts and scored one goal,” said Baldwin. “Another goal was called back for offsides.”
The Vikings played defensively in their own end for a good portion of the game, then capitalized on long counter passes to score their two goals. They had just three shots but scored on two of them.
Baldwin says the team is getting better and learning with every game.
“Every game we’ve tightened it down and corrected our mistakes. Every game we’ve been there,” he says. “The last few years we’d be good with a tie. Now we have a chance to win every time we play.”
The Hornets are 2-3 on the season. They played Monticello Thursday, results next week. They play at Spectrum Monday, host Princeton 7:30 p.m. Thursday and St. Cloud Apollo Saturday at noon.