Yellowjackets dominate Bethany Lutheran
After waking up to high-freezing winds mixed with rain, the Yellowjackets knew there was plenty of time to mentally prepare for what the elements had in store for them. That is one of many advantages to playing a night contest; which is rare for the collegiate soccer variety. The Yellowjackets used the extra preparation time to their advantage as they ousted Bethany Lutheran College 5-0 in Mankato, Minn.
The Yellowjackets peppered shots right off the bat as Ben Royce (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley) and Ben Kasper (Eagan, Minn./Eagan) each had a wide open shot that sailed above Viking goalkeeper Ryan Bolte. The Yellowjackets took a 1-0 lead on their third shot of the game when Kasper fired one past Bolte at 7:47. It only took Brian Grand (North Branch, Minn./North Branch) a minute to make it 2-0 when John Levenick (Champlin, Minn./Champlin) fed him a great pass on the right side where he let a shot go to the back of the net. The time of the goal came at 8:55.
Grand pushed the Yellowjacket lead to 3-0 at 21:31 when Nate Engel (Maple Grove, Minn./Maple Grove) found him in front of the net. The ball went off Grand's left foot and into the net to give him his team-leading seventh goal of the season. The Yellowjackets weren't quite done for the half as Trevor Laroche-Theune (LaPointe, Wis./Bayfield ) dug the Viking's wound deeper with a goal of his own to push the Yellowjacket lead to 4-0 at 40:24. Dan Baga (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) was credited with the helper on the goal. The Yellowjackets dominated the Vikings 14-2 in the shot department through one half of play.
The second half proved to be the same story as the Yellowjackets ousted the Vikings 17-4 in shots. One of those shots happened to find the net as Gio Rodriguez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos) picked up his first collegiate goal at 71:19 to extend the Yellowjacket lead to 5-0.
Matt Elder (New Hope, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) came up with two saves for the Yellowjackets while Bolte and Noah Heridorn came up with six saves for the Vikings.
The Yellowjackets (8-5-2, 1-0-1 WIAC) will return to WIAC action on Saturday, October 19 when they travel to UW-Whitewater to take on the Warhawks. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m.