In the past two seasons, the La Crescent High School boys soccer team fell one win shy of its first Three Rivers Conference championship.
The Lancers nullified any talk of a jinx this season when they found themselves in the same position with one conference match remaining.
La Crescent trounced Winona Cotter 5-1 on senior night to win a share of its first conference championship since 2005. La Crescent split the Three Rivers title with St. Charles/Lewiston-Altura.
After starting the season 1-3, the Lancers went 10-1-1 in their last 12 matches to finish the regular season at 11-4, and 8-2 in conference. After its 6-4 loss to Dover-Eyota on Sept. 5, La Crescent rattled off seven straight wins.
“I kind of saw while I was sitting on the bench that we all just started to click, and started to work more as a team than playing as individuals,” said senior forward Josh Weigel, who missed half the season with a torn labrum. “That’s when I think we turned a corner as a team.”
Up front, the Lancers are forceful — with sophomore forward Isaac Petersen leading the team in scoring with 20 points (14 goals, six assists), while junior forward Alex Boudreau has eight goals and four assists. Weigel has proved to be another offensive threat, scoring six goals in the seven matches that he’s played in.In the midfield, senior captain Tanner Corcoran has 12 points (eight goals, four assists), and freshman Andy Lopez has been a favorable addition with 14 points (eight goals, six assists). Reaching back to the Lancers’ last defenders in the net, both keepers, senior Josh Hackworth (1.04) and sophomore Mitch Dryden (1.17), have allowed just over a goal a game.
“What’s nice is that we have a little depth,” said head coach JP Piche. “We have some guys on the bench, and two goalies that could probably start on any other team in our conference.”
The fifth-seed Lancers began their postseason on Tuesday night at home against the 12th-seed Winona Cotter. With a win, they’ll advance to play either the fourth-seed Stewartville on the road, or 13th-seed Byron at home. If they manage to make it past the second round, the Lancers will most likely travel to Austin to meet the top-seed for the chance to advance to the section championship match in Rochester.