NEW ULM?- In a rare soccer doubleheader, the New Ulm boys finished one game strong as that momentum carried over into the second.
The end result of a day in which the temperature was in the high 80s was a 1-1 record on the afternoon for the Eagles. They lost the season opener to South Central Conference rival Waseca 5-2 and came back to defeat Southwest Christian 6-3 in the second game.
At one point in the day, New Ulm scored eight straight goals between the two games. Waseca led 5-0 late in the game before New Ulm's Josh Koelpin scored a couple of goals late for the final 5-2 margin.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Seth Wiechman (17) jumps over Waseca defender Andy Haley (18) during the first half of the Eagles’ loss Friday at the Martin Luther College soccer field in New Ulm. In the background is the Eagles’ Josh Koelpin.
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Koelpin then scored the first goal in the second game as the Eagles jumped out to a 6-0 lead and cruised to the 6-3 victory.
Despite the first-game loss to a team that usually gives the Eagles fits, they were happy with how the day went overall.
"I think that the first game is kind of tough to see where everyone is at on the field," Koelpin said. "I thought our communication was good in the second game and I think we had a little bit better passing I thought."
New Ulm came out a bit sluggish in the first game and watched the Bluejays jump out to a big lead. Koelpin's first goal in the game came off of an assist from Christian Linan. Jacob Rakoczy helped on Koelpin's second score.
That late-game momentum led to an early goal by Koelpin in the second game at the 36:32 mark off of an assist from Noah Webb. After a couple close calls from the Eagles, they took a 2-0 lead with 3:08 left in the half when Seth Wiechmann scored on an assist from Broderick Brown.
Getting that early momentum was big for the Eagles, who struggled at times last year, especially when they got down.
"It's huge, it's really important at the beginning of the game, and it carries you on for the whole entire season," Brown said of the early lead.
While the lead was slim at halftime, the offense picked it in the second half, netting four goals to take over.
Rakoczy scored on an assist from Linan and Brown (assisted by Justus Morschauser) made it 4-0 with 19:59 left in the game. New Ulm got goals from Nicolas Garnter (assisted by Brown) and Jonathan Sehloff (unassisted).
"When you start scoring goals, your confidence overall as a team is raised," Koelpin said.
Southwest Christian did score three goals late in the game. The first goal ended the shutout attempt for goalkeeper Alexander King with 4:25 left. The next two goals came within a span of about a minute. However, it wasn't really a frustrating finish for the Eagles.
"It did not bother me at all, I knew that we had it locked up, once it hit three minutes I knew that there was no way that we could lose," Brown said.
New Ulm (1-1) gets back into action at 5 p.m. Thursday at New Prague.