The Minnesota U23 Men's team traveled to Lemont, Illinois for the Midwest All Star event. Minnesota finished the event 1-1 with a win against CARFU and a loss to the Michigan All Star team.
Complete Match Synopsis below provided by Cory Schlack (MN U24 Men's Head Coach)
Minnesota v. CARFU
Minnesota came out very strong and played the first five minutes in Chicago’s half of the field. Minnesota struck fist with a try from William Pavek and Sam Rausch got the conversion (MN up 7-0). Then, Chicago woke up and went to work. Fast backs, and great poaching, kept the ball out of Minnesota’s hands. Chicago touched down a try in the 8th minute and was successful on their conversion kick (7-7). Chicago was able to string together a few more successful phases and touched down two more tries and another conversion (MN 7 - CARFU 19). At this point Minnesota was getting discombobulated, and Chicago made sure to take advantage with another try (MN 7 - CARFU 24). Things were looking pretty down for team MN, and that’s when things turned around.
Before the end of the half team Minnesota brought the ball back into Chicago’s area, put together a few successful phases, and then Trey Slagstad touched down our second try with another conversion by Sam Rausch. That made the score MN 14 - CARFU 24 at the end of the half.
Minnesota kicked off to Chicago to start the second half, and then remained on that half of the field for the rest of the game. In fact, 24 minutes of the 25 minute half was played on Chicago’s half of the field. Minnesota didn’t waste any time before they touched another try down by Brent Derhaag (MN 19 - CARFU 24). Chicago kicked off and Minnesota brought the ball right back into their zone. A penalty by Chicago brought team MN within scoring distance. Chicago put up a good defense, but wasn’t able to stand against a relentless MN attack. Will Pavek decided to touch another try down with some beautiful forward play, and Sam Rausch made a successful conversion (MN 26 - CARFU 24). From that point forward, the floodgates were open for team MN.
Additional try’s were scored by Travis Johnson and again by Brent Derhaag. The score at the end of the match was MN 38 - CARFU 24.
Minnesota vs Michigan
Minnesota received the ball to start the game, and they didn’t waste any time. Max Colvin found space out wide and touched down an uncontested try under the posts (Sam Rausch made the conversion. 30 seconds into the game and Minnesota was leading 7-0. However, Michigan wouldn’t allow themselves to be contained. A handling error by Minnesota saw the ball turned over to Michigan, and unfortunately for Minnesota, that meant they were giving up points (Minnesota 7 - Michigan 5).
Minnesota kicked off the ball to Michigan and a few stout plays on defense resulted in a knock-on by Michigan. A few offensive phases by Minnesota, and then Evan Kerska used a beautiful dummy pass to fool the D and score himself a try (Minnesota 12 - Michigan 5). Minnesota kept their foot on the gas, and five minutes later William Pavek saw the tryzone for the third time that day (Minnesota 17 - Michigan 5). Then, things started to fall apart.
Another handling error by MN resulted in another try by Michigan, and soon after that they found the try zone again. At the end of the half the score was Minnesota 17 - Michigan 17. The boys came out fighting to start the second half, but they weren’t able to put it all together. The played hard, and with a lot of heart, but in the end Minnesota lost to Michigan 17 - 32.
All in all, this was a great year for the MNRFU U24 All Star Squad. The team held three practices, won 1 pre-competition scrimmage, and went 1-1 against other All Star U24 teams in the Midwest. Above all of this, the team was made up of players from 14 different clubs - and that is truly amazing! These players put it all on the line, and represented the very best Minnesota has to offer! Three cheers for the MNRFU U24 All Star Team!
Head Coach: Cory Schlack (NDSU)
Asst. Coaches: Salim Kaderbhai (MSU - Mankato), Seth Jones (Metropolis), and Enrique Alvarez (NDSU)
Abdalla Abu-Sara (MSU - Moorhead)
Alex Christians (Metropolis)
Maxwell Colvin (St. Cloud State)
Brent Derhaag (Eastside Banshees)
Zach Donahue (St. Thomas)
Seth Dreyer (MSU – Mankato)
Jacob Fietek (NDSU)
Logan Gilbert (MSU – Mankato)
Joe Hoisington (Faribault Boksprings)
Travis Johnson (Bemidji State)
Nate Kallestad (Faribault Boksprings)
Nick Kazmierczak (St. Johns)
Evan Kerska (UND)
Bryce Lanhart (Metropolis)
William Pavik (St. Paul Pigs)
Trevon Pettigrew (Winona State)
Sam Rausch (Bemidji State)
Eugene Slagstad, III (NDSU)
Tim Stefczak (Metropolis)
William Tapio (U of M – Duluth)
Mathieu Vezies (Bemidji State)
Brady Waldoch (UND)
Darius Williams (St. Cloud State)
Michael Williams, Jr (St. Cloud BottomFeeders)