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Mankato West zips Fairmont Area in 2A quarterfinals

VERTICAL DEFENSE — Fairmont Area’s Eli Broomfield (13) goes airborne to defend Mankato West’s Caspar Olseth (4) during their Section 2A quarterfinal soccer game Saturday at Caswell Park in North Mankato. Fairmont Area’s Dan Brummond watches the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

NORTH MANKATO — The Mankato West Scarlets put an end to the Fairmont Area boys soccer season.

No. 2-seeded Mankato West beat the No. 10-seeded Cardinals 6-0 in the quarterfinal round of the Section 2A tournament at Caswell Park on Saturday.

Mankato West (13-2-2) moves on to host No. 6-seeded Worthington (10-6-2) at Caswell Park on Tuesday. Worthington took a 2-1 win over Faribault on Saturday to reach the semifinals.

Fairmont Area ended its season with a record of 9-9-1, the program’s best record and deepest tournament run in the past five years.

Fairmont Area head coach Brady Meyer said he is appreciative of the work the Cardinals put in through the year.

“Overall for the season, I’m really proud of the guys,” Meyer said. “All the work they put in in the offseason got us to where we are. I can’t say enough about our senior group of guys and our captains. They really took the reins of this team and brought us to where we are, with very little input from me in all reality. I really salute those guys for all their hard work this season.”

The Fairmont Area defense held the Scarlet offense in check through most of the first half, but two late goals gave Mankato West its 2-0 halftime lead.

With 13:16 left in the opening segment, the Scarlets’ AJ Franke scored when he and Caspar Olseth worked the ball back and forth, charging toward the net. Olseth crossed the ball into the goalie box where Franke scored.

After Mankato West got four more shots on goal, Jake Kachelmeier used a Ahmed Mohamed cross to launch the ball into the bottom right corner of the twine with 1:07 left before halftime.

In the second half, the floodgates opened.

Franke scored his second goal when he hit a shot off a Fairmont defender, collected the rebound and drove the ball into the bottom right corner of the net past a diving Tyson Geerdes with 34:39 left to play.

Olseth was credited with a goal at the 31:17 juncture when a Scarlet corner kick turned into a Fairmont Area own goal.

Adam Olenius was the next Scarlet to score when he used a corner kick from Luke Denhof for a one-timer and hit the back of the net with 15:48 left, then Caleb Crocker scored the final Mankato West goal when he collected the rebound of a deflected corner kick while standing inches from the left post and tapped the ball into the bottom corner.

Mankato West outshot Fairmont Area 20-1 in the matchup, with Juan Santana Sanz hitting the Cardinals’ lone shot on goal.

Geerdes made 14 saves between the pipes for the Cardinals, while Nick Lundberg made one save for the Scarlets to net the win.

Meyer had a final message for the 12 seniors set to graduate from the Cardinals.

“With their work ethic and their drive to continually get better, they’re going to do great things in life,” Meyer said. “Look at what they’ve accomplished this year already, it’s been awesome.”

Fairmont 0-0–0

Kato West 2-4–6

Scoring Plays

1st Half

MW–AJ Franke (Caspar Olseth), 13:16.

MW–Jake Kachelmeier (Ahmed Mohamed), 1:07.

2nd Half

MW–AJ Franke (unassisted), 34:39.

MW–Caspar Olseth (own goal), 31:17.

MW–Adam Olenius (Luke Denhof), 15:48.

MW–Caleb Crocker (unassisted), 6:32.

Shots on goal: FA 0-1–1; MW 10-10–20. Corners: FA 1-0–1; MW 3-5–8.

Saves: Tyson Geerdes (FA) 8-6-14; Nick Lundberg (MW) 0-1–1.

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