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The Park boys soccer team hits the field this season with 13 players who are juniors or younger in hopes of improving off a 5-11-1 season a year ago. (Bulletin file photo)

2013 Fall Sports Preview: Park boys soccer team heavy on juniors

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sports Cottage Grove, 55016
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

Fielding just four seniors this fall, the Park boys soccer team will look to a number of juniors who were part of an undefeated B-squad team last year.

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Park fields 13 players who are juniors or younger this season.

“It appears we will only be starting four seniors, so the team may struggle with consistency,” said Jason Arnebeck, who is in his seventh year as head coach at Park. “Then again, this team is full of juniors that went undefeated during their 2012 B-squad season, so they have shown the desire to work hard and find success.”

This season, Park will need to deal with the loss of 2013 graduate Cody Newton, an all-state honorable mention midfielder, along with all-conference defender Jacob Garr and all-conference goalie Jordan Gollner.

The Wolfpack does return, however, three of its four starting backs — Matt Goecke, Ethan Berube and Yemi Adewola — from a team that allowed an average of just 1.24 goals per game.

Park also adds promising newcomers in senior forward Zach Olson — a transfer student from Arizona who returns to Cottage Grove after leaving when he was 8 years old — and senior goalie Nick Perry, along with juniors Dalton Kellen and Jake Lanik.

“As a whole we have a program full off kids with great work ethic and attitudes which helps us be optimistic about our season,” Arnebeck said.

Park finished 2012 with a 5-11-1 overall record, falling 2-1 to Apple Valley in a shootout in thee section tournament opener.

This fall, Stillwater, which is ranked No. 2 in Class AA, looks to be the top team in the Suburban East Conference, with East Ridge, Woodbury and Mounds View also looking like they will be strong. In Section 3AAA, No. 1-ranked Eastview is the class of the group, with Eagan, Henry Sibley and Apple Valley expected to be good as well.

Park kicked off the year with a 3-0 loss at Eagan this past Saturday. Next, the Wolfpack welcomes Rosemount to Cottage Grove on Thursday, Aug. 29. Park then opens conference play against rival East Ridge at home on Thursday, Sept. 5.

—Patrick Johnson

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