Prep boys soccer: Kade Kohanski leads Hermantown past Superior
The Hawks have won five straight and played their most “complete game of the season,” according to coach Dave Thompson.
SUPERIOR — Hermantown senior Kade Kohanski scored a goal and assisted on three others to lead the Hawks to a 4-0 win over Superior Thursday at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex.
Kohanski nearly gave Hermantown a lead less than 10 minutes into the game, but the goal was thrown out for offsides.
Kohanski got Hermantown on the board in the 18th minute when Hawks senior defender Mason Sundbom put a long pass up ahead of the defense.
“I was floating up top a little bit in front of their D and they went back to our D and (Sundbom) sent it all the way up,” Kohanski said. “It kind of went between the gap. I saw it was open and I just started running and beat him.”
Nathan Hill scored later on in the first half and again late in the second half, while Ely Young added a goal just two minutes into the second half. All three goals were assisted by Kohanski.
Kohanski had been sidelined with a knee injury and the Hawks struggled without their leading scorer.
Hermantown dropped three straight games during Kohanski’s absence, including a 2-0 loss to Superior Sept. 12. The next day against Duluth Denfeld, the Hawks turned in a listless first-half performance that left them in a 3-0 hole. Coach Dave Thompson said he “challenged” his team at halftime against the Hunters and his team scored three second-half goals, turning the potential blowout into a 5-3 slugfest.
Since the second half of the Denfeld game, the Hawks have outscored their opponents 32-4. Thompson said it has helped getting Kohanski and a few other players healthy, and credited his team with responding to his challenge with hard work and unselfish play the last five games that has been “a joy to watch.”
“I’m really grateful that I feel like my players embraced that,” Thompson said. “As a coach, I think they appreciate the effort you’re trying to give them, but I completely appreciate the effort that they’ve given these last five games and tonight was our most complete game of the season so far.”
Kohanski said there has been a difference since the halftime of the Denfeld game, but in the second half they started moving their feet better and started really competing for 50/50 balls.
“We started playing a lot better,” Kohanski said. “We started getting better touches — better passing and stuff like that — which was kind of what we needed.”
The Hawks are getting healthy at just the right time, with their most difficult stretch of the season ahead of them. Hermantown (9-4) hosts Cloquet-Esko-Carlton at 1 p.m. Saturday and plays Duluth East and Denfeld next week.
“Cloquet and Denfeld are the teams to beat in the second and those are the games we’ve got coming up,” Thompson said. “We’re going to find out a little bit more about where we’re at right now at the end of the regular season. Those guys are on top of the section and if we’re going to win it, we’re going to have to go through those two teams.”
Superior struggled to generate much offense at all in the game, with just a few chances over the 80 minutes of play. The Spartans were without two senior starters, including leading scorer Darrel James and midfielder Adrian Sakuray.
Superior (4-7-2) will compete in a tournament at Wausau West beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.