LAND O'LAKES — Sunlake's Aaron Aucoin promised his mother he would make a heart with his hands Tuesday night and show it to her, as she sat wrapped in a green blanket in the stands, each time he scored a goal.
"I was just too excited," he said, laughing.
Aucoin, with an assist from Andrew Eastley, scored the first of two goals that sealed the Seahawks' victory, 2-1 over rival Land O'Lakes (2-2, 2-2).
The win boosts Sunlake (3-0, 3-0) in the Class 3A, District 8 rankings. The team went to the state semifinals last year and returns many of its top players.
Seahawks coach Sam Koleduk said last season's success might explain how his team is playing this year.
"We've been playing sluggish," Koleduk said. "I think we're leaning on what we did last year."
He said the team played well in the preseason, though.
Aucoin's goal in the first half had parents, clad in blankets and gloves, on their feet, cheering, "Go black!"
He said it built momentum that his team could carry into the second half, and the Seahawks celebrated a lead during halftime.
Land O'Lakes' Glenn Johnson scored from 35 yards out to tie the score in the 44th minute.
Fans started muttering about a tied match as the clock wound down. The second-half water break came and went, and the score was still tied.
With just a little more than six minutes remaining, Sunlake's Connor Kallenbourne scored on a high kick to nudge the score ahead.
Though it wasn't as decisive a victory as Koleduk could have hoped for, it was an important win in the big picture.
"We'll take it," Koleduk said.