'Jacks stay head above rest
October 7, 2022
The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton vs. Hermantown boys soccer game was played for more than bragging rights Saturday. The Lumberjacks entered the away game with an overall record of 10-2 and were leading the seeding race in Section 7AA. The Hawks were 9-4 and nipping at their heels. But CEC was able to grab an early lead and then hold off the Hawks for a 3-2 win.
"The Hermantown win was big for us," said CEC head coach John Sundquist. "I don't know if it would have made a difference in the seedings, but we are glad we don't have to figure the math out if we had lost. "
Just 16 minutes into the first half, the Lumberjacks struck when Elijah Aultman netted a goal off an assist from Max Sundquist. Before the half ended, CEC went up 2-0 on a goal from Brody Dushkin with the assist going to Collin Young.
The 'Jacks were up 2-0 at halftime.
"Obviously scoring first is a huge advantage," Sundquist said. "Some teams get a little too aggressive if they get down and it creates even more scoring chances for us, but credit to Hermantown for staying in the game and almost coming back. They made it really uncomfortable for us at the end of the game."
Hermantown struck for its first score in the second half at the 50-minute mark on a goal by Nathan Hill. CEC answered back when Elijah Aultman notched his second goal of the game at 65 minutes, with the assist going to Noah Hansen.
"Elijah works so hard for us on the top of our formation," Sundquist said. "Not only does he score goals, but he comes down with the ball and maintains possession for us in the middle of the field. His distribution has been improving over the season as well."
With CEC up 3-1 it looked like the 'Jacks would win it easily, but the never-say-die Hawks struck again with five minutes remaining on a goal by Wiley Aroo. The CEC defense remained stout during the closing minutes of regulation.
The Lumberjacks outshot the Hawks 10-5 with goalie Walker Marquardt picking up three saves in the win for CEC.
"Our keepers have been unbelievable all season," Sundquist said. "Lucas Rauner (senior captain) and Walker Marquardt (a junior) have been at the top of their game all season. It will be very tough making a decision come playoff time on who gets the net. They have both handled this season and the competition with a lot of class all season. Both players have been cheering and supporting the other as they have been rotated games. I can't speak highly enough about those two."
On Monday night, CEC defeated North Branch 6-1 on the road.
The 'Jacks beat St. Francis, 3-0, Tuesday when they also honored the four seniors on this year's CEC team: Rauner, Noah Knutson, Jordan Aultman and Erik Johnson. The win improved the CEC record to 13-2 for the season.
CEC was scheduled to play Proctor at home at 4:45 p.m. Thursday in the final regular season game after this issue of the Pine Knot News went to press.