Mankato United Soccer Club Names All-City Teams

Mankato Times

MANKATO, MINN. — The Mankato United Soccer Club held their All-City Soccer Banquet at the Centennial Student Union on the campus of Minnesota State University on Sunday, November 12.

All-City Boys Team (listed alphabetically)

Isak Abader-Sophomore Forward/Mankato East:

One of only two sophomores on a highly experienced All-City team, the dynamic sophomore forward makes his initial experience on the honor squad.  Abader also reigned in honorable mention All-Big 9 honors this past season, while making important and timely contributions in sparking a Cougar attack that was successful throughout a gritty run to the Section 2A finals.  Only a sophomore, Isak hopes to contribute in a big way throughout the final two years of his high school career before further exploring future plans.

Sam Ambrose-Junior Defender/Mankato West:

A newcomer to the All-City team, Ambrose brings leadership skills and experience to the table.  A three-year letterwinner, Ambrose captained the Scarlets this past season and picked up all-Big 9 accolades along the way. Looking back, Sam points to a 2016 campaign that included conference and section championships that propelled a great state tournament run as amongst his best soccer memories and, looking ahead, Ambrose is already anxious to return to play his final year of soccer next season.

Victor Cano-Hernandez-Sophomore Midfielder/Mankato East:

Only a sophomore, Cano-Hernandez is a talent for the Cougars in midfield and makes his debut on the All-City team in just his first year with the Mankato East varsity.  Budding with natural talent and potential, Victor was also selected to the   All-Big 9 conference team.  With another two years left in his high school career, Cano-Hernandez has his sights set on playing soccer at the highest level possible in the future.

Spencer Claude-Junior Defender/Mankato East:

Playing his third year with the Mankato East program and earning a letter award in each of those years, Claude breaks through this season to earn a spot on the All-City team.  Spencer brings a foundation of success to the Cougar program, having earned state championship status and a state runner-up finish playing with Mankato United club teams at an early age.  Claude adds international experience to his soccer portfolio, having competed in the Dublin Cup this past summer and looks forward to his final year of high school competition next Fall, with future plans to attend college and play soccer at that level still on the horizon.

Jeremiah Colon-Senior Midfielder/Mankato Loyola:

 A senior midfielder from Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial, Colon makes his initial appearance on the All-City team.  In his second year of varsity soccer, Jeremiah earned a letter and served as a captain this Fall, leading the team to sectional quarterfinal play this past season.  Colon plans to graduate this spring and hopes to have an opportunity to continue playing soccer at some level in the future.

Griffin Corbett-Senior Forward/Mankato West:

A senior midfielder, Corbett has played two years of varsity soccer, earning a letter in each of those campaigns.   A captain this past season, Corbett closed his career on a high note, being tabbed as an All-Big 9 performer, while also being selected for the Section 2A All-Star game.  Corbett points to a third place finish in the 2016 MSHSL Class A tournament as his top soccer highlight.  Set to graduate in June, Corbett is still mulling his college decision, having narrowed the possibilities to the University of Wisconsin-Madison or St. Thomas.

Koby Gagnon-Junior Defender/Mankato East:

A junior, Gagnon, was a strong and steady presence from his inside defender position.  In his fourth year of varsity soccer, Koby is a three-time letterwinner and two-time captain, who is making his debut on the All-City team. Strong in the classroom, as well, Gagnon has also earned “Spotlight on Scholarship” recognition.  A versatile defender, Gagnon has used his savvy to score goals and dish out assists while playing out of the back and his overall soccer acumen lead to an early season pull up to the varsity while still in the 8th grade. With another year yet to play, the 2019 graduate is still considering his future college plans. 

Armando Garcia-Senior Midfielder/Mankato Loyola:

The senior midfielder from Madelia High School helped the Mankato Loyola team to one of its beast seasons ever this past Fall in his first year with the Crusader program.  Named the “Best Midfielder” by his teammates, Garcia was also selected to play in the recent Section 2A All-Star game.  With plans to graduate the Spring, Armando would like to pursue opportunities to enroll in college and continue playing soccer.

Jarly Godoy Portillo-Senior Defender/Mankato Loyola:

A senior defender from Madelia High School, Portillo completed his only year of varsity soccer with the Mankato Loyola program in fine style, serving as captain and being named “Best Defender”.  With plans to graduate this Spring, Jarly hopes to attend college and play soccer, while learning more about Construction Management.

Suleiman Haji-Junior Midfielder/Mankato East:

A first-time All-City selection, the junior midfielder is making a big impact in his second year with the Cougars, serving as a captain, while also earning a letter award and all-Big 9 conference status.  The affable junior, with a bright personality claims a big “Pack the Stands” win against cross-town rival Mankato West as his top soccer memory.  Haji will return to jumpstart a promising Mankato East side next Fall and looks forward to the potential of playing soccer at the collegiate level following his Spring 2019 graduation.

Colin Knutson-Junior Midfielder/Mankato East:

Knutson has the dubious distinction of being the only returning member of the boy’s All-City team—his third straight year claiming that level of recognition.  Only a junior, Colin is a veteran of Mankato varsity soccer, having already started two seasons for Loyola before transferring to play the last three in the Cougar program. A three-time all-conference pick, Knutson brings abundant experience as an attacking midfielder in guiding his team as captain.  Playing in the section finals has only whetted the appetite of the senior-to-be, as he hopes to go out with a bang next Fall before moving onto college as a Spring 2019 graduate.

Ross Miller-Senior Midfielder/Mankato Loyola:

The senior midfielder makes his initial run on the All-City team after being part of a potent Loyola offensive attack that propelled the team to a great season and a quarterfinal appearance in the section 2A playoffs this past year. On schedule to graduate this Spring, Miller is uncertain of his future plans.

Brad Pietsch-Senior Forward/Mankato Loyola:

A senior forward from St. Clair, Pietsch was part of a highly potent Crusader attack this season and is making his first appearance on the All-City team. A two-year starter for the Crusaders, Brad also served as a captain for a Mankato Loyola team that enjoyed one of its best seasons in recent history.  Pietsch will graduate this Spring and plans to attend college.

Nick Rasmussen-Senior Defender/Mankato West:

Rasmussen, a senior, caps off his two-year varsity career with the Scarlets in fine fashion with a first-time spot on the All-City team and his recent selection to participate in the Section 2A All-Star game.  A two-year letterwinner, he reflects back on his experience playing in the 2016 MSHSL Class A state tournament as one of his best soccer memories.  Nick is looking forward to his Spring 2018 graduation with much anticipation and still hopes to find an opportunity to play soccer at the collegiate level.

Devon Swing-Junior Defender/Mankato East:

A junior captain, Swing has been part of the Mankato East program since the 8th grade, where he burst onto the scene by scoring a big goal in the section tournament that year, which remains one of his top soccer memories to this day.  A three-year letterwinner, Devon makes his debut on this year’s All-City team.  Swing will be back to anchor the Cougars defensively next Fall and upon his graduation the following Spring he plans to enroll at a college or university on the East Coast.

Matheus Zolla-Senior Forward/Mankato Loyola:

A senior letterwinner from Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial, Zolla proved to be an important offensive catalyst while scoring goals at a prolific rate this Fall during one of the Crusader’s best seasons in recent memory. The speedy forward proved difficult for defenses to contain and his talents earned him an opportunity to participate in the Section 2A All-Star game.  Matheus makes his first appearance on the All-City team and following the completion of his foreign exchange experience, he plans to return to his homeland, Brazil.

All-City Girls Team (listed alphabetically)

Sidney Botker-Junior Forward/Mankato Loyola:

A junior forward and captain, Botker is one of several newcomers to the All-City team.  A four-year letterwinner, Sidney has also been featured as the KEYC Athlete of the Week for her soccer exploits.  Her favorite soccer memory was of the Crusaders 2014 trip to the Section 2A championship game.  A talented, multi-sport athlete, Botker Looks forward to her final season at Mankato Loyola next Fall before further contemplating college plans.

Gabrielle Bowyer-Senior Defender/Mankato West:

A rugged defender, Bowyer helped anchor the inside of a Scarlet defense that set school records for most shutouts and fewest goals allowed.  A two-time All-City and all-conference pick, she is also a four-time letterwinner  The senior reflects back fondly on all the success the Mankato West program enjoyed during her time there, including claiming back-to-back Section 2A titles and playing in the state championship game at US Bank Stadium during her junior campaign.  Bowyer will graduate this June and plans to play college soccer with Augustana University, where she will enroll next Fall.

McKenna Buisman-Senior Forward/Mankato West:

One of the more accomplished players in the history of the program, the senior captain and five-year letterwinner from Mankato West added the title of 2017 Class A Ms. Soccer to her resume, after being selected as a first team All-State attacker for a third consecutive year.  The four-time All-City pick, was also tabbed first team All-Big 9 for a third time, while leading her team to a second straight state tournament appearance behind back-to-back section titles.  Buisman completed her stellar career as the school’s leader in matches played, points, goals, and assists, while establishing season marks for points and assists.  The 2016 All-Region pick is on the 2017 high school All-American watch list and will graduate early this January to join the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher soccer program in the Spring.

Nora Coughlan-Senior Defender/Mankato Loyola:

With an uncanny ability to track and defend the best attackers the opponent had to offer, Coughlan was a steady force for the Crusaders along the backline.  A senior, Coughlan is a two-time captain and is in her fifth year on the varsity program, where she has lettered each season.   Coughlan, making her third appearance on the All-City team, is a three year All-Conference performer and was recently selected for the Section 2A all-star game.  Nora cites the relationships she has forged throughout her time at Loyola, especially as a team leader and participating in the Gothia Cup as some of her best soccer memories.  Coughlan will graduate this Spring, and is still evaluating plans for college, where she plans to study psychology or pre-med, while remaining involved in soccer at the intramural level.

Brandi Drumm-Junior Defender/Mankato East:

One of the top defenders for the Cougars, Drumm makes her first appearance on the All-City team.  The junior, playing her second year of varsity soccer, was selected as “Rookie of the Year” by her teammates in 2016.  Drumm picked up her second letter award at the completion of the season and will help to anchor a strong Cougar defense next Fall.  The 2019 graduate is still evaluating future college plans.

Ella Gavin-Senior Midfielder/Mankato East:

A senior, Gavin, closes out her high school soccer career by making her first appearance on the All-City team.  Gavin lettered each of her four years on the Cougars varsity team and served as one of the captains this past season.  She says that leadership role and playing in the 2015 section finals were amongst her favorite soccer memories.  Ella capped off her soccer experience with an invitation to play in the Class 2A Section All-Star game.  Gavin will graduate in June and is currently undecided about where she will attend college next Fall.

Ashley Gustavson-Junior Forward/Mankato West:

A junior forward, Gustavson returns to the All-City team after a one-year hiatus.  A four-year letterwinner and three-time All Big-9 player, Gustavson pulled down second team All-State honors this past season.  The 2016 KEYC Player of the Week is moving up the scoring charts at Mankato West and will look to lead her team next season.  Amongst her soccer highlights were being part of a Mankato United Attack team that advanced to the Gothia Cup semifinals this past summer and playing in the 2016 Class A state championship with Mankato West.  A two-sport athlete, Ashley hopes to see a college future that would include soccer or basketball, with professional plans for a career in the healthcare field.

Kendra Kruse-Senior Defender/Mankato West:

A senior, Kruse unselfishly made a position move to the backline for her final season with the Scarlets and became a top-flight center defender on a team that set records for fewest goals allowed per game and shutouts in a season.  Making her first appearance on the All-City team, the four-year letterwinner earned honorable mention all-conference honors this past year, while also being selected to play in the Class 2A Section All-Star game.  Kruse says her favorite soccer memory has been playing soccer with the same group of friends in high school and club since she first became involved with the sport.  The “Spotlight on Academics” award winner will graduate this Spring and is sorting through college options that might include a future at the University of St. Thomas.

Melina Lobitz-Senior Goaltender/Mankato West:

A senior goalkeeper and captain, Lobitz makes her debut on the All-City team.  A two-year starter and letterwinner, Lobitz established program records for both shutouts in a season and career shutouts, earning her All-Big 9 and 2nd team All-State recognition this year, while also being selected for the Class 2A Section All-Star game and the BSN/MSHSSCA Senior Classic.  The Scarlets runner-up finish in in 2016 MSHSL Class A state tournament is one of Melina’s favorite soccer highlights.  An outstanding student, Lobitz is mulling several college options following her June graduation from Mankato West, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Rachel Luedtke-Junior Midfielder/Mankato West:

The junior captain, Luedtke makes her second appearance on the All-City team.   A two-way midfielder with a high soccer IQ, Rachel’s selfless team play led to her being selected all-conference for a third consecutive year as she helped guide her Mankato West team to the first undefeated regular season in school history.   A journeyman on the club soccer scene, Luedtke has seen action with Team Chicago, Mankato United, Minnesota Thunder Academy, and REV Academy, where in 2016, her REV Academy team won the Minnesota State Cup and earned promotion to MRL Premier II status.  Luedtke will return to lead the Scarlets next Fall in her senior season, while still evaluating the right future fit for her academic and soccer goals beyond that.

Shelby Lund-Senior Forward/Mankato West:

A two-time captain, Lund returned for her final season of high school soccer and propelled the Scarlets to a pair of firsts in securing the school’s only undefeated regular season and in claiming back-to-back section championships and state tournament appearances.  A four-year varsity player, Lund claims a spot on the All-City and All Big-9 conference teams for the second straight year, after being selected to the 2016 MSHSL All-Tournament team.  Lund also recently participated in the Class 2A Section All-Star game and the BSN/MSHSSCA Senior Classic and was also part of a Mankato United team that won a 2014 U15 C2 state title.  A senior, Lund will graduate this Spring and plans to enroll next Fall at Minnesota State University, where she will play soccer for the Maverick program.

Kate Nelson-Junior Midfielder/Mankato West:

Nelson’s dependable and steady presence in the midfield often made for drawing the toughest assignment in defending one of the opponent’s best players.  That effort earned the junior midfielder her first appearance on the All-City team.  A three-year letterwinner, Nelson points to Mankato West’s brilliant run to the 2016 Class A state championship game as one of her best soccer memories.   The rugged defender will return for her senior season with the Scarlets next year and hopes to parlay that experience into an opportunity to play soccer at the collegiate level.

Natalie Schisel-Junior Forward/Mankato East:

Schisel’s experience with the Cougar varsity program began as an 8th grader. Now in her fourth season with the varsity, the junior makes her initial appearance on the All-City team.  A four-year letterwinner, Schisel has also been tabbed as a two-time all-conference selection.   A versatile, multi-sporter, Natalie will hit the hardwood this winter before returning to lead the Mankato East attack in soccer next Fall.  Schisel is also in the process of touring colleges before making final decisions about her future plans following her Spring 2019 graduation.

Emily Schumacher-Senior Midfielder/Mankato Loyola:

Winding down a five-year stint with the Loyola Crusader program where she lettered each year, Schumacher is a newcomer to the All-City team and was recently selected to play in the Section 2A All-Star game.  Emily says the opportunity to play with some very talented Loyola teammates, including a trip to the 2014 section finals, along with the chance to play overseas in the Gothia Cup were some of her best soccer memories.  Following graduation this Spring, Emily plans to attend Northern State University where she will play college soccer and pursue a degree in biology, with future plans to attend medical school.

Jenny Vetter-Senior Forward/Mankato East:

Easily one of the most highly decorated players to ever wear the Cougar uniform, Vetter makes an astounding fifth consecutive appearance on the All-City team.  A four-time All-Big 9 selection, Vetter was selected 2nd team All-State in 2016, before elevating to first team status in 2017. During her final season, Vetter zoomed to the top of the Mankato East career scoring charts in goals and assists and cites playing for her sister, Lizzy, as head coach her senior year and making the section final in her sophomore year as amongst her soccer playing highlights. Vetter concludes her high school career as a participant in the Class 2A Section All-Star game and the BSN/MSHSSCA Senior Classic, before graduating  this Spring and  enrolling at Minnesota State, where she will continue her soccer career  with the Mavericks.


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