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Central boys overcome elements for win over Roosevelt

Aberdeen Central’s Derek Arunasalam, center, slides to kick the ball between Sioux Falls Roosevelt’s Karsen Balster (3) and Ethen Fagerness (10) during Tuesday’s match at Brownell Activities Complex. Looking on for the Rough Riders are Brandon Sailor (23) and Graham Tomlin (4). Photo by John Davis taken 9/5/2023

The Aberdeen Central boys’ soccer team stayed grounded on Tuesday afternoon.

The Golden Eagles came away with a 2-1 non-conference win over Sioux Falls Roosevelt at Brownell Activities Complex despite wet, windy, cold conditions.

“We knew how to prepare them for it,” Central coach Lance Mohr said of his team. “But once you get out there, it still takes them a half to really kind of get used to what’s going on.”

In the first half, Central faced adversity as the team was kicking directly into a swirling wind that affected kicks throughout the contest. Mohr said that his team had an advantage despite kicking into the wind.

“That actually helped us in the sense that we ate the wind in the first half,” Mohr said. “It took them a little longer to get settled, so we were able to get a couple (goals), which took a lot of pressure off and gave us a good head start – a head start that we needed, quite frankly, in the second half.”

Central struck first in the 13th minute of the first half with Manuel Munoz scoring the opening goal. Munoz then added to the first half lead with a goal in the 26th minute, giving the Golden Eagles a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.

Mohr was pleased with Munoz’s efforts.

“One was a penalty, so that was a good finish, and then the other one was with Gavin (Yost) dribbling up the sideline, made a nice, creative play and Manuel had a nice touch, and ended up (finishing), so it was good,” Mohr said.

Aberdeen Central’s Manuel Munoz (21) celebrates as his teammates Tyson Hassebroek (5) and Gus Bjerknes (23) close in to join the celebration after Munoz scored a goal on a penalty kick during Tuesday’s match against Sioux Falls Roosevelt at Brownell Activities Complex. Photo by John Davis taken 9/5/2023

Roosevelt picked up their lone goal in the 57th minute, cutting the Golden Eagles lead in half.

But throughout the game, Central’s defense gave the Rough Riders problems, something Mohr was glad to see.

“I thought they were really, really good,” Mohr said. “Overall, they dealt with the flight of balls and everything really, really well. I was really impressed with that.”

Central (3-3) will now turn its attention to Saturday when the team travels to Harrisburg for a 1 p.m. contest. While Tuesday’s weather was an added factor that was out of the team’s control, Mohr sees adjustments that need to be made that his team can control.

“We just have to connect better, and today’s tough and it’s hard to judge it because everything’s blowing around everywhere, but we’ve got to find each other better and we’ve got to move off the ball better,” Mohr said. “That’s going to be our focus the rest of the week, and take it down to a good Harrisburg team on Saturday and look to really work on our connecting and possession, and creating better chances.”

Sioux Falls Roosevelt (0-4-2) 0 1 – 1

Aberdeen Central (3-3) 2 0 – 2

First Half: 1, AC, Manuel Munoz, 13th minute; 2, AC, Manuel Munoz, 26th minute.

Second Half: 1, SFR, Ethen Fagerness, 57th minute.

Shots on Goal: Sioux Falls Roosevelt 5; Aberdeen Central 11.

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