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COVID-19 case ends New Ulm’s girls’ soccer season

NEW ULM — Rather than settle the playoffs with a game on the field, the New Ulm girls’ soccer team saw their season come to a premature end on Sunday after it was discovered that one of the players had contacted COVID-19.

The player was tested on Friday after a procedure and the Eagles played on Friday night in Worthington. The test results came back late on Saturday and coach Jonathan Johnson was told about it on Sunday morning.

Because they entire team rode on the bus over and back from Worthington, they will have to quarantine and will not be able to play Tuesday, when they were scheduled to host Albert Lea in the first round of the Section 2A playoffs at New Ulm High School. Everyone on the bus, which includes players from all three high schools in New Ulm, will have to quarantine until October 23 and they can return to school on October 26.

“Apparently the rules state that if you’re in close proximity for 30 minutes or more, that even includes the coaches and bus driver,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that there were about 42 people on the bus, including varsity and junior varsity players, coaches and the bus driver. He notified Activities Director Troy Guentzel and they talked to the section representative.

From there, the coaching staff sent out a message to the players and let them know about the situation.

He said he didn’t directly hear from any of the players as of Monday afternoon. The Eagles had a record of 7-5 and they earned the right to host Albert Lea on Tuesday.

“I haven’t talked to any of the players, I thought for sure that my phone would be blowing up but I think everybody is still in a state of shock,” Johnson said.

The team had four seniors on the roster. Johnson said it was a tough season for everyone because of the circumstances of the pandemic.

“The whole season was basically one game at a time,” Johnson said. “The girls came to practices with a positive attitude and all things considered, they wanted to play and they were in good condition, they weren’t slacking on that. I’m sure that this is really going to be a hard pill to swallow for some of them.”

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