By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
On a rainy October night in St. Michael, the Knights lost a heavyweight showdown with the Elk River Elks.
The 2014 season has finally come and the Knights are ready to play. Expectations are just as high as last year, according to head coach Megan Johnson.
“We expect the team to come out and work hard and be excited to get it back.”
The 2014 Lady Knights soccer team features several newcomers. Among them are Izzy Ferrozzo, a sophomore forward; Lindsay Finnerty, a sophomore midfielder; Anna Poss, a sophomore defender; Maddie Schmidt, another sophomore midfielder; and Carly Jo Gamrath, a third sophomore midfielder.
The Knights will also depend on some returning players; Leah Johnson, Hannah Schutz and Emily Laudenbach.
Last season featured several memorable moments for the Lady Knights, such as hosting and defeating Rogers for the Mississippi 8 conference title. Johnson hopes the team can create such memories again this season and get back to the same position it was a year ago.
“We have a very solid team. Girls who work extremely hard and are strong technically,” she said. Johnson also mentioned she was impressed with the speed and fitness levels of the girls in practice so far.
One game in particular caught Johnson’s eye on the schedule; the season opener against the team that defeated STMA on that wet night several months ago.
“Elk River…we are looking for another crack at them!”
Johnson wants the fans to get ready to watch some exciting games in 2014 as STMA chases another conference title.
“Come out and watch! The Lady Knights are fast, fun, and ready to score goals!”
OT WIN IN ELK RIVER
Several months after a shootout loss sent the Knights home from the playoffs, STMA got another shot at the team responsible; the Elk River Elks.
Elk River broke the scoreless tie nearly 27 minutes into the game when freshman Shayne Schoenfelder scored. The 1-0 score carried into the second half, where STMA sophomore Izzy Ferrozzo tied the game at 1-1 after beating the defense.
Both teams had some good chances to break the tie early in the 2nd half. Leah Johnson broke free of the defense, but her shot hit the goalpost and sailed out of bounds.
Late in the half, Izzy Ferrozzo gave the Knights a 2-1 lead on a rebound, but Toni Bailey quickly responded with a goal of her own to make it 2-2. Both goalies held up over the final 5:39, sending the game to overtime; a repeat of the section final.
After the first five minute overtime, nothing changed. Late in the second overtime, Tori Jensen got a long shot past the fingertips of Elk River’s Alyse Grunewald for a 3-2 STMA victory to open the season.
Head coach Megan Johnson said she could not be prouder of the girls for their efforts.
“Everybody played really well. They are a talented bunch,” she said.
The Knights next play Wednesday at St. Cloud Tech.