Boys Soccer: Klecker’s hat trick paces Warriors

Adam Klecker enjoys a hat trick despite the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles leaving the game in protest

Brainerd Warrior Isaiah Peterson brings the ball up the field with his teammate Cruz Megazzini against the Apollo Eagles Tuesday, Sept. 8, at Don Adamson Field. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

With 18:41 left and trailing 5-1, the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles had had enough.

The Eagles walked off the field and abandoned the game giving the Brainerd Warriors their fourth win in a row Tuesday, Sept. 8, at Adamson Field to remain undefeated.

The abandonment of the game came after the frustrated Eagles were called for three yellow cards and a red card in the second half. Apollo’s head coach also received a red card for pulling his team off the field with a little under 20 minutes to play.


“I have never seen a coach pull off their entire team,” Warriors head coach Tom Grausam said. “It was strange. I don’t know why he did it. This game is about the kids, the players. It's not about the coaches. It was just strange and too bad.”

Nevertheless, Brainerd’s Adam Klecker netted a hat trick in the win, and scored his first goal 12 minutes into the first half. Klecker’s goal came off an assist from Jackson Bluth and set the tone.

“It’s always nice getting the first goal,” Grausam said. “It takes a lot of pressure off our guys and puts a lot of pressure back on the other team. It kind of deflates the other team, but Apollo is a good team and they fought back.”

Apollo answered quickly with a goal by Nasteh Ahmed at the 16:49 mark. It was the first goal the Warriors’ defense had allowed in 2020.

A minute later Klecker scored his second goal off a PK. Klekcer found the bottom right side of the net to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead.

“Once we score a few goals on Apollo — it happens every year — they lose their head and start yelling at each other, yelling at the refs and we just keep going,” Klecker said.

At the 12:55 mark, a free kick cross by Nole Robertson found the head of Cruz Megazzini who put the ball in the back of the net to make it 3-1 Brainerd at half.

“We were able to play well as a team and had some good crosses,” Megazzini said. “I was just lucky enough to be in the right spot to put it in.”


Twenty-one seconds into the second half, Klecker got his hat trick with another PK. This time he went bottom left corner and hit the crossbar before finding the net.

“I usually go bottom right which I shot the first time,” Klecker said. “The second one, the goalie was going bottom right — I could see it out of the bottom of my eyes — and then I shot bottom left. At first I was nervous, but saw it hit on the inside of the post and it went in.”

Grausam was happy to see Klecker get a hat trick.

“He just works so hard,” Grausam said. “He puts in his minutes and his time. He’s just one of those dynamic players that you expect to see a lot out of.”

At the 29:49 mark, the Warriors tallied their final goal with Robertson scoring on an assist from Megazzini.

“It’s just a great connection,” Grausam said of the Robertson-Megazzini tandem that put two goals on the board. “Those two are there and always at the net. It’s nice to see their efforts are paying off.”

Brainerd recorded eight shots on goal while Apollo recorded two. Brainerd goalkeeper Brandon Neifert tallied one save.

Grausam was happy his team didn’t retaliate when the game got chippy and Apollo ended up not finishing the full 80 minutes.


“They just kept their heads in the game,” Grausam said. “In games, there is always chirping between the players, but that’s part of the game. I always preach to the players to keep their head in the game and don’t let them dictate how you are going to play. I thought they did an excellent job of keeping their cool and keeping their heads in the game.”

Apollo 1 0 — 1
Brainerd 3 2 — 5

First half: Brd-Adam Klecker (Jackson Bluth) 28:52, A-Nasteh Ahmed 16:49, Brd-Adam Klecker PK 15:16, Brd-Cruz Megazzini (Nole Robertson) 12:55
Second half: Brd-Adam Klecker PK 39:39, Brd-Nole Robertson (Cruz Megazzini)
Shots on goal: Brd 8, SCA 2
Goalkeepers: Brd-Brandon Neifert (1 saves); SCA-Calvin Walters (3 saves)

Warriors 5, St. Cloud Apollo 1

Key: Warriors score early and often to frustrate Eagles.

Conference: Brd 4-0, SCA 1-1

Overall: Brd 4-0, SCA 2-2


Next: Brainerd at Sauk Rapids 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

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