Class 1A programs Austin and Mankato West aren’t the biggest schools in the Big 9 Conference. Apparently they sit in an enrollment sweet spot for soccer. Mankato West has 1,101 students — five more than Austin. Both have more than enough kids to field highly competitive soccer squads.
Austin (4-0-0, 4-0-0) won the Big 9 crown a season ago with an unbeaten league record and is off to an unblemished start this year in which it has demolished opponents by a combined score of 27-2. The No. 3-1A Packers, who made the state quarterfinals last season, are led by senior Andres Garcia and his eight goals.
Mankato West, which also reached the state quarterfinals a year ago, got five goals from junior Caspar Olseth in a 14-1 drubbing of Red Wing on Aug. 29. The No. 10-1A Scarlets (3-1-0, 3-1-0) suffered their lone loss this season in a 3-1 defeat to Rochester Century on Sept 8.