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Adapted Soccer: Thunderbolts roll in home opener

Brothers Carson and Mitchell Rinnels of the Thunderbolts share a hug after a goal against Minneapolis Edison Monday. (Bulletin photo by John Molene)1 / 3
Tyler Tinnucci of the Thunderbolts charges the Edison goal early in the first half. Tinnucci scored several goals for South Washington County. (Bulletin photo by John Molene)2 / 3
Elizabeth Schmidt and Tyler Wylie of South Washington County race to a loose ball in the second half. (Bulletin photo by John Molene)3 / 3

A veteran South Washington County Thunderbolts team that features seven returning starters looked the part as they opened the home season with an easy win Monday.

The Thunderbolts romped past visiting Minneapolis Edison 18-1, going to 2-0 on the season.

South Washington County opened the season with a 6-2 win over North/Tartan in the newly formulated CI South division.

With veterans such as Tyler Tinnucci, Justin Neff, Nick Jones and Bryce Smith in the lineup off last season’s state consolation champions, the Thunderbolts easily dominated the action Monday. They passed well and sent dozens of shots at the Minneapolis Edison goalie.

South Washington County led 12-0 at the half, and then tried a variety of different lineups after the break.

“We’re still learning positions,” said coach Bruce Fiedler.

One of the players learning a new position is Smith, a junior who was last season’s leading scorer for the Thunderbolts. He opened in goal Monday. With a very experienced returning lineup -- but no goalie -- finding a top replacement for the graduated Marcus Hathaway in the net is perhaps the key to the Thunderbolts’ success this season.

“We came in wondering what are we going to do about goalie,” Fiedler said. “And we’ve been trying different people. Some teams put their best athletes in at goalie. It will probably be goalie by committee for a while, with Bryce probably starting and then we’ll see how it goes.”

South Washington Country is a perennial state contender and has won Minneapolis adapted soccer titles in 1997, 1998 and 2014. The goal, as usual, is to get to state and then see what happens.

“We haven’t won Friday night for quite awhile,” said Fiedler.  “That’s really our goal, to get there and win that Friday night game.”

South Washington County hosts St. Paul Humboldt Adapted Tuesday, Oct. 4, at4:30 p.m. at Park High School.