Soccer: SJP and Cathedral stars lead wins over Thunder girls
The Zimmerman Thunder lost a pair of conference games this week, 7-3 against St. John’s Prep on Tuesday in Collegeville, and 3-0 to St. Cloud Cathedral on Thursday at home. The Thunder are 1-2 in the Granite Ridge Conference and 1-5 overall. They host Mounds Park Academy on Saturday, 11 a.m.
St. John’s Prep 7, Thunder 3
Coach Jeff Downing cited SJP’s Clare Cullingham as “the difference in the game … we actually beat the rest of their team!”
Cullingham drilled five goals and went over the 100-goal marker for her career, each by breaking down individuals and isolating the goalkeeper one-on-one.
Zimmerman had three players break into the goal scoring column for the first time this year — Ashley Johnson in the fifth minute, Anne Rademacher in the seventh minute, and Hailey Artmann in the 74th minute. Brooke Salo assisted on the first two goals, which left the Thunder tied 2-2 at halftime.
“We are showing more ability to control our game pace and play some balls with purpose,” assessed Downing. “In spite of the final score, some team growth was quite evident throughout this game.”
St. Cloud Cathedral 3, Thunder 0
Ellie Engel was the another thorn in Zimmerman’s side, drilling three goals.
“Facing two of the top teams in the conference back to back makes a tough week,” said Downing. “Again, we played well in an obvious ‘underdog’ game and fell victim to a single player for the second game in a row.”
The game was very evenly-played but Cathedral was able to create more finishing opportunities.
“We continue to get very close to where we need to be,” said the coach, “but are still developing a skill set that will create scoring chances against stingy opposing defenders.”
Midfield play was particularly strong and youthful defenders continue to build confidence at the varsity level, he added.