BY DAVID PEDERSEN
As usual, Delano varsity soccer teams will kick off the season by sponsoring the Eye of the Tiger Tournament Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24-25, at the Delano Elementary soccer complex.
The boys first go against Watertown-Mayer, 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23 at home. Friday games at the tourney include West Lutheran boys against Mayer Lutheran at 3 p.m. and Hutchinson against Delano boys at 7:30 p.m. The third place game is noon Saturday with the title game at 4 p.m.
For the girls, West Lutheran faces Mayer Lutheran at 1 p.m. Friday and Big Lake takes on Delano, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday games are at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The Tiger girls follow the tourney with three more home games. The girls take on Watertown-Mayer, 7 p.m. Monday Aug. 27, Chanhassen, 7 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 28 and Waconia, 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30.
The boys are home to Chanhassen, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, and to Waconia, 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30.
Girls coach Amy Larson welcomes 12 returning varsity players that worked hard and did well during the summer season. Some helped the Wright County Soccer Club claim the U17 state title with the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association.
A key will be in goal where multi-year starter Ashley Lewis will be replaced by ninth-grader Kelsey Delisle. Another newcomer is assistant coach Allison Lebovsky, a 2007 Delano grad.
“We had a great season last year,” said Larson about the team losing to Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the section semifinals. “Our captains are great role models on and off the field and have really set the tone for the season.
Delano is paced by senior captains Kayla Manske (midfield), Kallie Statema (forward), Sam Noetzelman (midfield) and Martha Metz (forward).
“I am proud of the girls for all the work they put in this summer,” adds Larson. “I think we are going to have a successful season.”