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Multiple Teams · Boys Soccer Ends Season in Section Playoffs

By Colin Mather

The Mound Westonka boys soccer team ended its season Oct. 9 with a 2-4 loss in the second round of section playoffs to the No. 1 seed, Breck.

Breck took the initiative early on with two goals in the first 10 minutes. Westonka pulled a goal back at the 20 minute mark, against the run of play. Junior Wilson Strong headed in a ball right in the goal mouth area when Breck defenders failed to handle a bouncing cross.

Senior Cory Nelson pulled off a great save from a free kick just a few minutes later. Nelson pushed a shot wide of the goal and then quickly got up to cover the goal as a follow-up shot sailed in and hit the outside of the netting.

The game then settled down for a while, with neither side creating any clear chances. However, with 5 minutes to go in the half, Breck earned a penalty kick that they converted to restore the two-goal lead. Breck scored again early in the second half, when a corner kick was only cleared to the edge of the penalty box and an ensuing long shot was blasted in.

Westonka kept the game within reach later in the half, when senior Anders Larson sent forward a speculative long and high pass that junior Colton Jones was able to shoot towards goal. The Breck goalie bobbled the shot, and it bounced by him into the net.

With 17 minutes to go, Nelson was called into action again, diving to save a cross that raced along the 6-yard line.

With 15 minutes to go and the game getting out of reach, coach Wayne Bellamy brought in several subs to give them a taste of playoff soccer. The White Hawks all performed well, keeping the game at 2-4 until the final whistle.

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Junior Varsity Cross Country, Varsity Cross Country · White Hawks Runners Earn All-Conference Honors

The Mound Westonka High School cross country team competed in the Wright County Conference meet, held Oct. 9 at Glencoe-Silver Lake High School. Five White Hawks runners earned All-Conference recognition at the meet: juniors Ella Kohls, Michael Milner and Evan Richter and seniors Jack Smyth and Sam Taggart.

The White Hawks boys team made a valiant effort and nudged out the Annandale team by two points for an amazing second-place finish behind Glencoe-Silver Lake. The White Hawks’ top finishers finished four in a row at 11th-14th place. Smyth finished first for the White Hawks with a time of 17:14.33, followed closely by Milner (17:16.54), Richter (17:18.81) and Taggart (17:20.21).

White Hawks girls promoted some JV runners to fill out a varsity roster, finishing in fourth place as a team. Junior captain Kohls finished in fifth place overall for the girls with a time of 15:49.88.

Photos by Sarah Reinhardt

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Multiple Teams · Boys Soccer Earns Playoff Win

By Colin Mather

Mound Westonka boys soccer team played its second game in a week against Delano on Oct. 7. The first encounter on Oct. 2 was the last regular season game for both teams. The White Hawks ended up losing that contest 1-2, giving them a final regular season record of 6-10.

The second encounter on Tuesday was the first round of Section playoffs. The first five minutes of the game was very cagey, with mostly long balls from both sides and no real chances. Junior Alex LaFortune had the White Hawks’ first chance of the half when he sent in a shot from the wing that hit the outside netting of the Delano goal. Delano went one better after 10 minutes of play when a cross from the right side hit the outside of the left post.

Immediately after that near goal, the White Hawks had a close chance when senior Alex Cortez took a long shot that dipped at the last second and almost grazed the cross bar. Cortez continued to be active and earned the White Hawks the first corner of the game at the 17 minute mark. However, the kick fell harmlessly on the edge of the penalty area and was cleared.

Delano had a great chance just a minute later when some tentative midfield defending led to a breakaway. Delano sent in a cross from the left wing, but senior captain Anders Larson chested the ball as it passed across the goal, causing it to go just wide of the post.

Senior captain Mitch Wanous set up Westonka’s best chance to that point when he surged forward but was fouled. The ensuing free kick by LaFortune dropped right into the danger zone, and junior Jordan Orenge was able to swing on a close range shot that went just wide before being called back for offside.

Delano responded again with their own best chance of the half when they broke through on the right side. Senior goalkeeper Corey Nelson was called into action with a diving save to deflect the shot across the goal to safety.

The last six minutes of the half saw the White Hawks with some sustained pressure on the Delano goal, and this eventually paid dividend when Wanous was fouled in the penalty area. LaFortune stepped up to take the ensuing penalty kick, and he calmly slotted home the first goal of the game into the right netting.

Delano leveled the tie early in the second half off of a free kick just outside the Westonka penalty area. Delano quickly shot the free kick before the White Hawks defense and goalie were settled. Westonka protested the goal, but as the ref had not indicated that the shot needed to wait for the whistle to be taken, the surprise shot was legal, and the goal stood.

At 1-1 the game entered a neutral phase where neither team could break free. Coordinated team defensive play from both sides led to several offside calls, which stopped a number of promising attacks in their tracks. Both teams also traded injuries, which also slowed the momentum. Senior captain Caleb Vandenheuvel was one of the victims, but he was thankfully able to walk off the field and was not seriously injured.

Things livened up around the midpoint of the half. Larson saved one good Delano attempt when he raced back for a sliding tackle. Nelson was again called into action as he grabbed a cross/shot from the Delano right wing.

The White Hawks finally got the breakthrough with 15 minutes to go. Wanous punted forward a mid-range pass that bounced favorably for junior Colton Jones. Jones continued his great goal scoring form for the season and patiently slotted the ball on the ground past the goalie’s legs.

The heat was then turned up by both sides, and the teams traded good chances with 11 minutes to go. Nelson calmly gathered Delano’s chance, and Orenge shot a half chance right at Delano’s goalie. The final minutes saw some heroic defending; notably by Wanous, who raced back to force a breakaway out for a corner.

Nelson saved his team once again with five minutes to go, when a defensive miscue let through Delano for an open shot. Nelson grabbed it cleanly as the shot whistled in. Wanous had the final great play of the game as he put in a crunching tackle to stop Delano’s final attack.

The White Hawks were worthy winners, 2-1, avenging their loss one week earlier, and allowing them to savor a playoff victory for the first time in several seasons.

UPDATE: The No. 9-seeded White Hawks fell to No. 1 Breck 2-4 in the second round of playoffs on Thursday, Oct. 9

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Multiple Teams · Girls Soccer Advances to Section Round 2

By Kendall Nygard

The Mound Westonka High School varsity girls soccer team defeated the Southwest Christian Stars 2-0 in the first round of the Section 6A playoffs at a home game on Tuesday, Oct. 7.

Senior Cori Anderson racked up two goals, one in each half. Anderson was assisted by junior Ashley Luehmann and senior captain Jori Mazurek on one of the goals. On defense, seniors Cheyenne Hirdler and Abby Brustad and sophomores Christi Wanous and Ava Wagner kept the goal area clear for freshman goalie Maddie Gutekunst.

Senior Abby Getzinger took over the goalkeeping responsibilities during the second half, and there was not a lot of action on Westonka’s end of the field. There were a total of 13 shots on goal by the White Hawks. Junior Sara Jones and sophomores Sheridan Nygard, Katie Priefer, Tatum Anderson, Emma Kerr and Lila Finney all took shots on goal. Eighth-grader Maya Thurston, and almost every other member of the team, used their heads to attack the goal or to make key defensive moves.

On Thursday, Oct. 9, the White Hawks play in an away game against Benilde-St. Margaret’s. The Red Knights, who won the Class A State Championship last year, face a determined and dedicated group of seniors and seasoned White Hawks head coach, Wayne Bellamy.

UPDATE: The No. 7-seeded White Hawks fell to No. 2 Benilde 0-6 on Thursday night.

Photos by Mark Finney

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Multiple Teams · Soccer Teams Advance in Sections

It was pitch perfect for the White Hawks boys and girls soccer teams Tuesday night, as both teams advanced to the second round of the Section 6A Tournament.

In an away game at Delano High School on Oct. 7, the No. 9-seeded White Hawks boys team faced off against the No. 9-seeded Tigers. The White Hawks had redemption on their minds after having suffered a tough 2-1 loss to the Tigers less than a week earlier on Oct. 2. This time, the White Hawks turned the tables, defeating the Tigers 2-1. Scoring for the White Hawks were juniors Colton Jones and Alex LaFortune.

That same night on the White Hawks’ home turf, White Hawks girls took on Southwest Christian in an exciting Section battle. The No. 7-seeded White Hawks defeated the No. 10-seeded STARS 2-0.

Section Round 2 – Thursday, Oct. 9
The White Hawks girls will take on the No. 2-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret’s at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9, at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School. Later on Thursday, the boys team will play the No. 1 seed, Breck, at 7 p.m. at Breck High School.

Photos from the White Hawks girls game by Mark Finney

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Varsity Bowling · Bowling Wins Two in a Row

By Bryan Helland

The Mound Westonka bowling team won two matches in a row on Oct. 6 at Louisville Lanes in Shakopee.

In the first match, the White Hawks played against the “field,” which meant that they had to beat the lowest score from all of the other six teams at the match. They accomplished just that and had a high game of 171.

Junior captain Jaxon Helland had a perfect 100 percent fill in the match, which included six strikes. Freshman Rose Helland also had an excellent fill rate of 83 percent. She had one strike, four spares and only one open. Junior Weston Boser also had a fill rate of 78 percent in the match.

In their next match, the White Hawks faced Prior Lake and was able to win three games to two. The high game for the match was a 176. While the scores were lower, the intensity was still high, and being able to win any match in the tough SouthWest Metro Conference was a great accomplishment.

The high bowler in the match was junior Max Speakman, who had a phenomenal 88 percent fill rate. Speakman recorded five strikes, two spares and only one open.

The team’s next match will be on Friday, Oct 10. at Country Club Lanes at 4 p.m.

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White Hawks News · Seniors Lead White Hawks in Win Over Delano

By Sandy Spray-Kerr

The Mound Westonka High School girls soccer team finished up the dual season Oct. 2 with a win 1-0 over Delano on senior night.

Prior to the game and following a rainstorm, a beautiful rainbow appeared over the field, setting the stage for the matchup. Seniors participating in their last conference dual game were goalie Abby Getzinger, forwards Cori Anderson and foreign exchange student Elizabeth Zwiekopf, midfielders Jori Mazurek and Cheyenne Hirdler and defender Abby Brustad.

Hirdler and Mazurek seemed to have touches on the majority of the plays in the game. Each team’s defense prevented many attempts during the match. Brustad helped lead the defensive line in fighting off the Tigers’ advances.

Mazurek’s long kicks set up what would be the only goal of the game. The score came with 8 minutes left in the first half, after 32 minutes of play without a score. From a corner kick, Mazurek gave just the right effort for the ball to roll in unassisted. Delano recorded three shots on goal in the first half, and the White Hawks had four attempts. The total shots on goal were five for Delano and seven for Mound Westonka.

The only shot on goal for the Tigers in the second half made for an exciting finish. With a mere 45 seconds left in the game, the Tigers had a good chance to tie the score. However, several White Hawks defenders came to the rescue, holding off the late attempt.

The White Hawks compete in Sections the week of Oct. 6, hosting Southwest Christian in the first round on Oct. 7 at 4 p.m.

Photos by Mark Finney

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Multiple Teams · Girls Soccer Conquers Crusaders, Falls to Spartans

By Kendall Nygard and Sandy Spray-Kerr

The Mound Westonka varsity girls soccer team finished out the month of September with a pair of challenging games.

The White Hawks beat the Mayer Lutheran Crusaders 6-0 in an away game Sept. 29. Senior captain Jori Mazurek scored within the first minute of the game on a corner kick. Senior Cori Anderson racked up two goals in the first half, and sophomore Tatum Anderson also put one on the board. Senior defenders Abby Brustad and Cheyenne Hirdler, junior defender Ashley Luehmann and sophomore defender Christi Wanous kept the goal area clear for freshman goalie Maddie Gutekunst. Unfortunately for Gutekunst, the late September chilly air paired with no action made for a cold net keeper.

In the second half, sophomore Sheridan Nygard knocked an interrupted goal in from 20 yards out, and eighth-grader Maya Thurston sealed the game with the final goal. Senior Abby Getzinger took over the goalkeeping responsibilities at the half and repeatedly used her powerful boot to clear the ball out of Westonka territory. Junior Sara Jones and sophomores Katie Priefer, Emma Kerr and Lila Finney were on the field, making key assists, and they held the Lady Crusaders at bay every time they set up a play.

The following night, the Westonka girls lost 4-0 in an away game against perennial conference rival Orono. The Spartans are ranked third in the state. The White Hawks played hard, fair and with unrivaled team spirit and support. The first 32 minutes of the 40-minute half were scoreless, with only a few advancements made by Westonka. The Spartans spent a majority of their time attempting to score against a solid White Hawks defense, with Gutekunst in as goalie for the first half. The defensive line—made up of Luehmann, Wanous, Mazurek, Hirdler and Brustad—put up a strong front; however, near the end of the first half, Orono got on the board. The White Hawks went into half time down by a goal.

The Spartans came out strong in the second half, scoring a second goal within a matter of seconds. The White Hawks defense continued to battle to keep back many shots on goal by Orono. Nevertheless, the game ended as a 4-0 win for the Spartans.

The White Hawks finish up their season with a home game on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. against Delano. Thursday will also be senior night for the lady White Hawks as part of a doubleheader with the varsity boys, who play at 5 p.m. Sections will begin next week, with dates and times to be determined.

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Varsity Bowling · Bowling Team Loses Hard-Fought Battles

By Bryan Helland

On Sept. 26, the White Hawks bowling team faced Shakopee and New Prague at the Country Club Lanes bowling center in Excelsior.

In the Shakopee match, the White Hawks lost four games to one, fighting hard but not getting the breaks they needed. The White Hawks were led by juniors Weston Boser and captain Jaxon Helland, who had 88 percent and 87 percent fill rates, respectively. Boser had four strikes, three spares and only one open. The high game in the match was a 196.

The Mound Westonka Bowling Team prepares for the match

The White Hawks’ next match was against the top team in the conference, New Prague. It went down to the last frame of the fifth game, but the outcome was not in the White Hawks’ favor. Needing three strikes in a row to win the match in the 10th, Helland got the first strike, but the second ball was a nine. After Helland picked up the spare, the White Hawks found themselves behind by one point, and the match went to New Prague at three games to two.

The White Hawks were not short on great performances, with everyone scoring 80 percent or higher in fill rate. Boser, freshman Will Stein and senior Al Rasmussen all had 80 percent fill rates; but the high performer of the match was junior Max Speakman, who had a 89 percent fill rate.

The next match for Mound Westonka will be at Louisville Lanes on Oct. 6.

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Multiple Teams · Sir Shedding Mound Westonka’s Lake Boy Image

By: Star Tribune

A big part of Mound Westonka’s growth has been the play of Charlie Sir, a senior quarterback.

The difference between the 2014 Mound Westonka football team and past teams is not immediately obvious. The White Hawks are 2-3, coming off their worst loss of the season, 48-0 at Glencoe-Silver Lake.

But a closer look tells a different story. Their three losses have come at the hands of traditional powers Hutchinson, Orono and Glencoe. Their most recent victory, 21-16 over Annandale, was their first Wright County Conference victory on home turf since 2010. And coaches from both Hutchinson and Orono praised the White Hawks for being a much improved team.

A big part of their growth has been the play of Charlie Sir, a senior quarterback. Sir is among a group of seniors determined to change the athletic culture at Mound Westonka …

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