BY ROB LAPLANTE
The St. Michael-Albertville girls’ soccer team went 1-1-1 in conference play last week, including a huge 2-0 win last Tuesday over cross town rival Rogers. Two days later they dropped a 1-0 match at Buffalo and Saturday they tied Elk River 1-1.
The shutout victory over Rogers gave the Knights early bragging rights, but more importantly, helped gain the early upper hand for both conference standings and section seedings. Both teams have twice won the Mississippi 8 each of the last four seasons and both teams compete in Section 8AA come playoffs.
Playing its first home game of the season, senior’s Jess Johnson and Maddie Barr each scored goals in the win. Senior goalkeeper MiCale Jensen earned the shutout.
“We were very happy with our first conference win, especially against Rogers,” said STMA head coach Megan Johnson. “Johnson and Barr scored great goals and Jensen made some key saves. Taylor Poss (senior defender) played her best high school game and was a key playmaker.”
The victory over the Royals was short-lived, as Thursday the Knights lost a 1-0 match at Buffalo. Despite outshooting the Bison 22-2 for the game, it was Buffalo goalkeeper Katherine Brainerd slamming the door. It was the first time in school history the Bison defeated STMA.
“We dominated the majority of the game,” Johnson said. “We were very frustrated after the Buffalo game. We are looking forward to our next matchup against them.”
The week ended with a windy contest played Saturday at Elk River. Senior midfielder Brandy Schirmers scored the Knights’ lone goal of the contest on a cross. It was the first goal of the season for Schirmers. Junior goalkeeper Becky Panuska and Jensen split duties in the 1-1 tie.
“The wind was a huge factor in this game,” Johnson said. “It was difficult to get any good opportunities. Panuska played a super first half and Jensen did a great job in the second half with the wind coming at her.”
Tuesday’s results with Cambridge-Isanti were unavailable. The Knights (3-1-2 overall) will travel Friday to Moorhead for a non-conference matchup at 5 p.m. with the Spuds. The next home game is next Tuesday at 7 p.m. against No. 7 ranked (Class A) Monticello.
Boy’s team defeats Rogers, drops a pair to Bison, Elks
The STMA boys’ soccer team picked up a 3-1 road victory at Rogers last Tuesday. The rest of the week wasn’t as kind as they dropped a 2-1 home match to Buffalo and lost a 1-0 double-overtime thriller at Elk River.
Senior forward Justin McLain scored his second goal of the season with five minutes left in the half, giving the Knights a 1-0 halftime lead. The Royals would tie the score 1-1, but senior midfielder’s David Anderson and Winn Nyanseor sealed the victory scoring two unanswered goals.
Much like the girls team, the boy’s victory over Rogers was short lived, as STMA dropped a 2-1 home match to Buffalo. The Bison took an early 1-0 lead off a corner kick goal scored just two minutes into the match.
The lead stood until midway into the second half when STMA junior forward Cory Kackman tied the score 1-1. The Bison would score the eventual game-winning goal off a rebound from a direct kick.
Saturday’s loss to Elk River came in a thrilling, 1-0 double-overtime contest. Elk River forward Storm Heyer scored in the second overtime, handing the Knights their third loss of the season.
“The Elk River game was a defensive struggle,” said STMA head coach Darek Dewey. “Neither team had good scoring chances until Heyer broke our defense two minutes into overtime.”
STMA hosted Cambridge-Isanti Tuesday night at Community Ed Field (results will be in next week’s edition). Saturday they host Grand Rapids at 1 p.m. and Tuesday they travel to Monticello for a 5 p.m. tilt.