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Hastings boys fall in close match to Mustangs

Heading into Thursday's soccer match, the Hastings Raiders were seeking their first Suburban East Conference win of the season. The Mounds View Mustangs, meanwhile, were looking to keep their unblemished SEC record in place.

After one half, though, it would have been hard to tell the two teams apart for someone who didn't know the two team's records. The match was scoreless at the half.

"They just overlooked us," Hastings coach Shane Lanning said. "They came out pretty flat, and we played really well. The first half has been our nemesis this year. We had to keep the throttle down and keep going after these guys and make them earn it."

At about the midway point of the second half, Mounds View scored the game's only goal. They won, 1-0.

"Their coach, I think he was getting a little nervous," Lanning said. "He was pacing on the sideline. I'm sure they just came in here thinking they were going to walk all over us. We didn't let that happen. It just shows that, all season long we haven't given up on games."

Ian Johnson played in goal for Hastings and had a strong game, Lanning said.

In addition, the Hastings defense was strong and the midfield play was exceptional, he said.

"They were not only defending, but they were getting the ball forward into the attack," Lanning said. "That required Mounds View to play defense. Once teams figure out that we don't have a lot of offensive power, they've been sending an additional guy up and they defend us with two or three guys. That leaves seven or eight guys up front for us to defend."

Among the players who had strong games at midfield were Alex Melecio, Keegan McIntosh, Scott Matecki and Alex Lewanski.

"They did very well, both on the defensive side of things and the offensive side of things," Lanning said.

On Tuesday, Hastings lost to East Ridge, 4-0. That brings the scoreless streak to eight games for the Raiders, something they'll try to get fixed when they play at Park tonight (Thursday).

"We are getting our chances," Lanning said. "We are getting good opportunities. We just have to simply keep our nose to the grindstone."

Pancake breakfast set

The Hastings boys soccer team has a pancake breakfast fundraiser planned for Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Green Mill. Breakfast is served from 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. The fee is $6 at the door.