Prep boys soccer: Hunters pass the first of two big tests
Denfeld throttles Hermantown with coach out awaiting COVID-19 test.
Hermantown boys soccer coach David Thompson knows all about quarantining due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the summer, the Hawks’ longtime coach spent several hours in a car with a sick friend who later tested positive for the coronavirus.
Thompson ultimately tested negative and, as he has been all season, was on the Hawks’ sideline for Tuesday night’s game against Duluth Denfeld at Public Schools Stadium.
His counterpart, Scott Anderson, was not on the Hunters’ bench. Anderson, via text message, said he was tested for COVID-19 on Monday and was advised to stay home. He has not yet received results of his test, therefore the Hunters were not precluded from playing.
As it turns out, the Hunters didn’t need Anderson.
Junior Simon Davidson scored three first-half goals and senior midfielder Keegan Chastey added his own hat trick while masterfully orchestrating Denfeld’s 8-0 Lake Superior Conference victory.
Assistant coach Matt East filled in as head coach for the first time for the Hunters (4-1 overall, 2-0 LSC).
“The boys stepped up big today, and that’s all thanks to Scott because he gave them a good system,” East said.
The lopsided scoreline was reminiscent of the 2019 regular-season finale, won 6-1 by Hermantown to lay claim to the LSC title. Denfeld earned revenge a week later in the Section 7A semifinals, a fact Thompson was keen to tell his players afterward.
Now, in a 2020 season devoid of any planned postseason, that LSC hardware might be the only bragging rights available.
If so, the Hunters earned an early leg up via a four-goal first half, three by Davidson off the right wing. The lanky and speedy forward followed up Chastey’s opener with a hat trick less than 10 minutes apart.
“He’s a great player and plays that wing really well,” East said. “It was just a matter of time (until he scored). It was nice to see him score.”
Davidson entered the game with no goals or assists this season.
“Pretty decent, huh? I had a bad practice (Monday) so I thought I should play well today,” Davidson said. “We knew we could definitely come into this game and take the win, but I don’t think we were expecting to win 8-0.”
Davidson sped down the right side to tally three minutes after Denfeld had taken a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute when Chastey fired home his 10th goal of the year.
Chastey, last season’s News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year, set up Davidson for the next goal just a minute later and then Davidson backheeled in a Joe Eklund cross for a 4-0 lead less than 35 minutes into the game.
“I’m a ballerina,” Davidson said jokingly of his pirouette.
Senior forward Xavier Decker added two late goals to finish off the rout, which could be Denfeld’s last game for a couple of weeks.
If Anderson’s test comes back positive, then Minnesota Department of Health protocols would come into play. A 14-day quarantine is usually the result.
“We’d have to take a two-week quarantine break from the last day of the last symptom,” East said. “If that test does come back positive, we’ll be out for two weeks. The way they are playing it would be sad to see them have their season shortened, so we’re hoping for the negative.”
The teams’ rematch is scheduled Oct. 9 in the regular-season finale.
Hermantown (3-1-1, 2-1-1) will need the intervening time to work on its defensive play in front of first-year goalkeeper Michael Lau. The Hawks were without a starting center back.
“Denfeld outplayed us and played with more energy in the first half,” Thompson said. “They exposed our backline being compromised and our goalkeeper.”
Anderson, meanwhile, watched the game on Facebook Live. It marked only his second missed game in more than 25 years as head coach — the other being when he was in Winona, Minnesota, two decades ago while working on his masters degree.
“We didn’t have Facebook Live then, but we did have texting,” he texted at halftime. “I was watching my phone more than paying attention to class. I think it was a playoff game that we won in OT.”
Anderson passed that test. Now he hopes to pass another one.
Duluth Denfeld 4-4—8
First half — 1. Keegan Chastey, 23rd minute; 2. Simon Davidson (K. Chastey), 26th; 3. Davidson (K. Chastey), 27th; 4. Davidson (Joe Eklund), 35th.
Second half — 5. K. Chastey, 61st (pk); 6. Xavier Decker, 67th; 7. Decker (Eklund), 71st; 8. K. Chastey, 77th.
Saves — Michael Lau, H, 8; Demetri Regas, DD, 5.
Hermantown 3, Duluth Denfeld 2
Seniors Macy Sieger and Maiah Christianson pounced on loose balls in the penalty area and scored two minutes apart late in the second half to lift the Hawks to the LSC win at PSS.
Sieger tied the game 2-2 in the 69th minute and Christianson followed suit from the right edge of the goal in the 71st minute to even Hermantown’s overall record at 2-2 and 1-1 in the LSC.
Emma Herstad opened the scoring for the Hawks before Anna Faldesi and Gigi Boheim gave the Hunters (1-3, 1-2) a 2-1 lead.
Duluth Denfeld 1 -1—2
First half — 1. H, Emma Herstad, 21st; 2. DD, Anna Faldesi, 26th.
Second half — 3. DD, Gigi Boheim, 57th; 4. H, Macy Sieger, 69th; 5. H, Maiah Christianson, 71st.
Goalies — Therese Gannucci, H; Mary Johnson, DD.