Pioneers hopeful despite loss of 12 seniors

The Hill-Murray Pioneers are heading into the 2015 boys soccer season with high hopes of taking one more big step toward heading back to the Minnesota State Boys Soccer Tournament come the end of the section playoffs.

A year ago the Simley Spartans stopped the Pioneers in a tight 1-0 contest in the Section 4A playoffs.

Hill-Murray finished last season with an overall mark of 7-6-4, and in conference action was 4-4-2. 

Second-year head coach Joe Voeller said, "One of our top strengths will be in goal, where we will be really good. We have returning a kid by the name of Garrett Kaelin at the netminder position.

"Also we will have Troy Tischler returning who should be great at the midfield position. We will expect Sean Little to provide goals up top.

"Other than that, we have a lot of new players who will have to step up to fill in for the loss of 12 seniors [to graduation last spring].

"I'm really not sure what to expect, because we have lost captain Jake Yocum with a broken leg," said Voeller, who himself was a standout soccer player at Hill-Murray and the University of St. Thomas.

Leading the Pioneers this season will be captains Kaelin, a senior, and Yocum, a junior defender who is injured.

Others on whom the Pioneers will be relying will be seniors midfielder Trent Davies and defender Nate Donatell. Then there is junior forward Sean Little and sophomore midfielder Troy Tischler.

Assisting with the coaching chores will be Andy Seidel.

Voeller took a glance at the Metro East Conference and thought possibly the teams to beat if Hill-Murray is going to claim a top position might well be Mahtomedi, St. Thomas Academy, North High and Simley.

The Pioneers open the season with a couple of road games. They will be at Como Park at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 27 and stay on the road to play St. Croix Academy Sept. 3 at 5 p.m.

The Pioneers' home opener will be against the Harding Knights at 7 p.m. Sept. 9.

The 2015 Hill-Murray boys soccer schedule: 4:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at Como Park; 5 p.m. Sept. 3 at St. Croix Academy; 7 p.m. Sept. 9 Harding at Hill-Murray; 7 p.m. Sept. 10 North at Hill-Murray; 5 p.m. Sept. 15 Tartan at Hill-Murray; 7 p.m. Sept. 17 at St. Thomas Academy; 10 a.m. Sept. 19 St. Agnes at Hill-Murray; 7 p.m. Sept. 22 Johnson at Hill-Murray; 7 p.m. Sept. 24 Hastings at Hill-Murray; 1 p.m. Sept. 26 at White Bear Lake; 7 p.m. Sept. 28 Nova Classical Academy at Hill-Murray; 5 p.m. Sept. 29, Henry Sibley at Hill-Murray; 5 p.m. Oct. 1 at Mahtomedi; 11 a.m. Oct. 3. at Mounds Park Academy; 5 p.m. Oct. 6 at Simley; and 7 p.m. Oct. 8 South St. Paul at Hill-Murray.

— Wally Wakefield


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