MNUFC’s Academy was active once again this weekend, traveling to St. Louis, Missouri, to play a total of five games between the three squads. Mixed results and plenty of good play made for another valuable learning experience for the Loons, as several players demonstrated impressive skill and awareness in their matches.
On Saturday morning, both the U15s and U17s took on MLS side St. Louis CITY SC, acquitting themselves well in two well-fought matches.
The U17s came out quick, earning a two-goal advantage courtesy of Alisa Randell and Donovan Sinicropi before the first half was over. Despite the early lead, CITY rallied in the second 45, scoring a late free kick to nick the 3-2 victory over the visiting Loons.
Like the U17s, the U15s cruised to an early 2-0 lead, buoyed by Colin Ssenogga’s impressive 40-yard chip over the CITY goalkeeper. St. Louis didn’t find a breakthrough of their own until deep into the second half, converting their first real chance of the day. The home side continued to push until the end, but the Loons, led by Keane Perkins in net, were up for the challenge and held off any late opportunities for home heroics. Tim Dennis was the other goalscorer for the visitors, putting in what ended up being the match-winner.
On day two of the trip, all three teams took on Missouri powerhouse St. Louis Scott Gallagher. The U19s and U15s both fell prey to some unfortunate goals against the run of play, forcing them to chase equalizers for the majority of the game. Late penalty kicks sealed their fates, as both sides fell in eerily similar fashion.
The U17s had a better day, responding to the previous day’s disappointment with a 5-2 win against Scott Gallagher despite getting a man sent off in the first minute of the second half. Alisa Randell continued his outstanding run of form by bagging a second-half hattrick and putting the game to bed. Ty Perkins and Gavin Stephenson put in impressive shifts in the midfield, controlling the run of play even when their side was down a man.
Another five-game weekend is on the way, with all three teams heading back to the Twin Cities for their next set of fixtures. On Saturday, October 28, the whole Academy will be taking on FC United Soccer Club at the NSC from 9:00 a.m. to just after 1:00 p.m. Then, on Sunday, October 29, the U15s and U17s will welcome FC Cincinnati to Blaine for matches at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., respectively.