Despite losing streak, boys soccer ‘playing like a team’

The North Branch boys soccer team traveled to suffer three hard fought losses last week to Robbinsdale Cooper, Chisago Lakes Area and Duluth-Denfeld.
The Vikings were shutout 3-0 by the Hawks Sept. 11.
“It took us a while to adjust to the turf on the field at Cooper,” said senior captain Jon Blomquist. “Logan Klatt had some great shots that were just a bit off or were saved by the keeper. We had some trouble moving the ball through Cooper’s talented midfield, and in the end, just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
On Thursday the team fell 5-2 to the Wildcats.
“We took a 1-0 lead off of an amazing shot by Levi Kolke, which was made possible by an exceptional assist from Logan Klatt,” said Blomquist. “We stumbled a little after that, conceding three straight goals to the Wildcats, but then Joe Prell found the back of the net once more off of another assist from Klatt right before the end of the first half. Kaleb Larson and Ryan Zenter stepped up big; they played great defense and made many key plays. The Wildcats were fouled in the box with less than 10 minutes to go, and connected on the PK (penalty kick). They followed that up with a header minutes later, sealing the victory. Although we lost this game 5-2, the entire team played with the energy and passion that we need to build on.”
The Vikings took another tough loss Saturday to the Hunters 4-1, and the only goal was scored by Eric Chilstrom off an assist by Klatt.
“We had a few guys who weren’t fully healthy due to injuries, but still gave it their all,” said senior captain Levi Kolke. “The toughest thing to overcome this season has been the lack of players, but everyone has learned a lot and become smarter in their play, and we have become a good, physical team.”
“Logan Klatt has stepped up huge since being switched over to the attacking midfield position, making exceptional plays each and every game,” added Blomquist. “Tyler Gudmunson, Eric Chilstrom and Matthew Blomquist have been playing very well on the outsides of the field, linking the fullbacks and the strikers. A winless week may not seem like an improvement, but I feel that this was the best soccer our team has played all season. We’re completing more passes, getting to the ball first, picking it up on defense, and, most importantly, we’re playing like a team.”
The NB boys soccer team has a 0-5 North Suburban Conference and a 2-7-1 overall record. The Vikings will host the Columbia Heights Hylanders (4-4 record) at 7 p.m. on senior night Thursday, Sept. 20.

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