Respect for their opponent and being prepared to dominate in the second half is what St. Paul Central coach David Albornoz preaches to his team on a daily basis. It’s an approach that’s paid dividends in the past, and this year has proven no different as the Minutemen (7-0-0, 6-0-0) have yet to lose a match this season.
“We’ve gone to state in back-to-back seasons and it’s the intensity we see in our city games that prepares us,” Albornoz said. “It’s a challenge, because it demands our best, but I’m grateful for it. Games of soccer are won in the final 20 minutes of the second half and we put our players through a strenuous fitness program so that everyone is ready for their moment to shine.”
Both respect and taking control in the second half came in handy in the Minutemen’s second matchup this season against St. Paul Como Park (4-4-0, 3-3-0), as the Minutemen, ranked No. 2 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll, tallied a pair of second-half goals at Bakken Field in St. Paul on Tuesday to finish coming back from a two-goal deficit to seal a 4-2 triumph over their intracity rivals.
“We played our way, and that brought us back,” said Thomas Bump, a senior who scored both second-half goals for Central. “We kept talking, and didn’t get discouraged and kept pushing ourselves to be better.”
A strong second half and two goals from senior Thomas Bump pushed St. Paul Central to a 4-2 victory over intracity rival St. Paul Como Park as part of the St. Paul City Conference Tournament at Bakken Field in St. Paul Tuesday.
The Minutemen, ranked No. 2 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll, were on the defensive during much of the first half, resulting in the Cougars scoring the game’s first two goals. The first tally came via a header from senior forward Hamse Djama and the second goal was scored by Abdirashid Daud.
St. Paul Central cut the deficit to 2-1 on a shot by junior midfielder Dylan Barrett. Assem Elsayad knocked in the second Minutemen goal, tying the match at 2 prior to halftime.
Bump’s second-half goals keep the Minutemen (7-0-0, 6-0-0) unbeaten this season.
Emmanuel Molinos Lopez made eight saves for the Cougars (4-4-0, 3-3-0) and his counterpart Drew Moseman made five saves for St. Paul Central, including one on a late penalty kick.
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