The Austin Packers boys’ soccer team, the No. 2 team in the state in Class A in the latest poll from the Minnesota Soccer Hub was on the road Tuesday night in Mankato for a Big 9 Conference matchup with the West Scarlets, and senior midfielder Andres Garcia lit up the scoreboard with three goals to help the Packers to a 6-1 win.
Garcia’s first goal, with an assist to Henry Tolbert in the 23rd minute put the Packers in front 1-0, and he then scored what turned out to be the game-winner just over a minute later with another assist from Tolbert to make the score 2-nil Austin. Garcia wasn’t done scoring in the first half, though, as he fired a shot that was deflected in with less than five minutes left in the half to give Austin a 3-0 lead at the break.
Mankato West tallied off a penalty kick in the 50th minute to cut Austin’s lead to 3-1, but Garcia then earned the hat trick with an assist to eighth-grade midfielder Joel Thwang to make the score 4-1. Senior midfielder Jose Valladares scored off a free kick in the 66th minute to increase Austin’s lead to 5-1, and Thwang then tallied just before the ending buzzer to make the final 6-1.
Goalkeeper Casey Berg made 11 saves for the Packers, who move to 5-0 on the season with the lopsided win. Austin is back in action at Art Hass Stadium Friday night for a matchup with the Winona Winhawks, with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m. You’ll hear all of the action right here on AM 1480 KAUS, online worldwide at myaustinminnesota.com and on the I Heart Radio app, with the Austin Packers pre-game show set to start at 6:50 p.m.