Leading John Marshall 1-0 midway through the second half, the Red Wing boys soccer team appeared to be in a great position to win its second game. Not only that, defeat a team that is in the top three in the Big 9 standings.

Fifteen minutes away from a possible victory, the Rockets came roaring back with three goals in a span of 7 minutes. Their first goal from Abubaker Mohamed came with under 14 minutes remaining. Luis Schoeberl scored the go-ahead goal about 6 minutes later. Within a minute after, the Rockets had a free kick that resulted in a goal.

The Wingers, having fought so hard to lead 1-0, had to hang on for 15 minutes. The Rockets came back for the 3-1 win on Thursday night in Red Wing.

“They deserved a better result the way they were working hard,” said head coach Nate Weess. “That can happen in soccer. Five to 10 minutes of mental lapses where the energy is low (can cost you the game).”

Weess said the team has had some problems playing a full game. The effort is there for the most part, but in varying lengths of time, the Wingers can suddenly find themselves down a couple goals.

“We didn't go too deep on our bench so a lot of our starters were putting in a full game almost and that can happen when you are low on energy,” he said. “It was kind of a moment where they got one on us and the next 5 to 10 minutes, we lost focus on what we really needed to do.”

Weeds said the first of three goals allowed happened when the Wingers continued to press hard but instead of one player coming in to pressure the ball handler and another player cover their spot, the Wingers were just a bit too aggressive and got a little unorganized. To the Wingers credit, the Rockets had multiple minutes with control of the ball, but had very few shots reach Winger goalkeeper Greggory Stallard. The Wingers defense also contained the middle and forced many of the quick attacks to the sidelines.

The Wingers finally broke a scoreless tie in the second half on a 3-on-2 breakaway from the midfield. Samuel Noser carried the ball up the right side, made a pass to Tony Urzua-Charnecki in the middle who made a touch pass back to Noser. The give-and-go gave Noser just enough space for a shot on net, scoring low far side.

The Wingers lately have found themselves getting more offensive chances and more shots. It resulted in more goals too. Pressuring and playing “on their toes” instead of playing in a defensive shell has given the Wingers chances but for brief moments in the past games, the Wingers have fallen behind quickly because of similar lapses as their loss to JM.

“That's happened to us a couple times this year, but we've responded well. Just the other night in Faribault we went down 2-0, tied it right back up but had another 5 to 10 minutes later,” Weess said. “We need to play 80 minutes.”

Weess said he senses the team is getting closer to putting together a full game and when it happens, it needs to become consistent for every game. Being able to challenge, frustrate at times the Rockets indicates the Wingers can play tough against the top of the conference.

“We've played other good Big 9 schools that held strong and played great soccer against, but for half a game or for moments in first and second halves,” Weess said. “I keep telling the guys, as soon as we put 80 minutes of soccer in, we'll know what kind of soccer team we are. I think we're waiting for that to happen and happen soon.”

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