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Thunderbolts soccer: 'Bolts celebrate senior and parent's night

Senior Nich Bartos and the Thunderbolts celebrated senior and parent's night at "The Perch" as over 75 fans came out in support of the home team in its final home game of the year last week.

The South Washington County Thunderbolts adapted soccer team is learning that it's not always about the final score.

The 'Bolts played its final home game of the season last week, but fell to defending state-runner up Dakota United 16-0 on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at East Ridge, two days after falling 13-4 at St. Paul Johnson.

In the loss to Dakota United (6-1-1), the Thunderbolts celebrated senior and parent's night at "The Perch" as over 75 fans came out in support of the home team, according to 'Bolts head coach Denny Larson.

"It was just a monster crowd," Larson said. "It was just amazing. It was just really great. It was unfortunate how it ended up, but we just couldn't dent their defense at all. There are some very good players on their team."

In spite of the loss, Larson said the team's spirits are high.

"It was an awesome experience for the kids because of the amount of people there to support them," Larson said. "The kids don't seem to mind the score of the game as much as the coaches."

Before the game, the team honored its four seniors -- Erich Fiedler, Alayna Olson, April Stoebe and Nich Bartos. In the game, the Thunderbolts (1-7) fell behind 6-0 in the first half and were unable to penetrate a tough United defense throughout the contest. After the varsity game, the Thunderbolts JV team took on the Dakota United JV team and fell 4-1, with Brittany Dickson scoring the lone goal for the 'Bolts and Dani Retica playing well in goal, according to Larson. The night was then capped-off with a player vs. parent game, which ended in a 4-4 tie.

"You talk about a wild time," Larson said. "The parents loved it, the kids loved it. The parents were laughing and having fun and so were the kids. What better way to end a senior/parent night."

In the first game of the week, South Washington County fell behind 7-0 in the first half to St. Paul Johnson, but battled to a 6-4 second half to fall by nine goals.

"They had two awesome players," Larson said. "They'd send it up to them and we'd run like crazy trying to stop them. Plus, their defense was amazing and their goalie played well. We couldn't get it by them."

For the 'Bolts, against St. Paul Johnson (2-4-1), seventh-grader Tristan Rankin scored three goals and Amanda Henderson had a goal and an assist, while Alice Liu and John Stutleberg each tallied an assist.

Rankin and Caleb Gotz played goalie in the game in place of Thomas Jarosiewicz, who missed the one game with an injury.

"It was tough in goal," Larson said. "They had two powerhouse players that could just smack the ball. It doesn't seem like we play that well on Mondays -- kind of a Monday syndrome."

The Thunderbolts traveled to Lakeville South High School on Monday, Nov. 2 after the Bulletin went to print to take on Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville cooperative. Next, the team takes on Bloomington Jefferson on the road on Wednesday, Nov. 4 in the regular-season finale, with playoffs beginning Wednesday, Nov. 11 with opponent and location to be determined.