Fall 2017 sports preview: Girls soccer

Sports Editor

The Armstrong, Brooklyn Center, Champlin Park, Cooper and Park Center girls soccer teams opened fall practices Aug. 14, and will look to put together strong seasons when they play their first game of the season later this month.

Armstrong goalkeeper Ana Aguado will look to build on a 2016 season in which she garnered All-State honors. (Sun Post file photo by Chris Chesky)

The Armstrong girls soccer team played well in its first year under head coach Natalie Jin, who took over the program prior to last season. The Falcons pieced together an 11-2-3 season, and Armstrong returns many of the core pieces from last year’s team.

The Falcons return three of their top four goal-scorers from last season, as Julia Osborne (last season’s leading scorer with 20 points) and Molly Jaeger are set to return for their senior seasons, while second-leading scorer Jessica Hanley is set to begin her sophomore season.

The Falcon defense is led by senior goalkeeper Ana Aguado, who posted a 93.6 save percentage last season. Aguado has committed to play at the University of Minnesota next year.

Aguado and Osborne were named second-team All-State following last season.

The Falcons open the 2016 season against Edina at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at Edina Community Center.

The Brooklyn Center girls soccer team is coming off a season in which it posted a 3-7-4 record, but, after losing just three seniors, the Centaurs will look to use their experience to take a step forward in 2017.

With just four seniors returning from last year’s roster, Brooklyn Center is set to continue building for the future.

Brooklyn Center will open the 2017 season against Spectrum at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29, at Brooklyn Center High School.

The Champlin Park girls soccer team posted a 5-9-2 record last season, but a roster filled with returning varsity players gives the Rebels hope for a better 2017 season.

The Rebels are led by junior Alexandra Lotts, who paced the Rebels with 16 goals and one assist in 2016. Lotts was named second-team All-State following last season. Alexa Grimm (14 points) and Kali Campbell (eight points) return as three of the Rebels’ top five goal scorers from last season.

Champlin Park’s Alexandra Lotts will look to build on a 2016 season in which she garnered All-State honors. (File photo by Brian Flanary)

On defense, returning goalkeepers Amanda Christensen and Malia Braiedy are set to platoon for the Rebels. Champlin Park allowed 3.14 goals per game last season, a mark the Rebels will look to improve in 2017.

Champlin Park will open the 2017 season against Maple Grove at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at Maple Grove High School.

The Cooper girls soccer team lost seven seniors from its 2016 team that posted a 6-5-3 record, including All-State goaltender Dayja Schwichtenberg. While Cooper will look to find a new goalkeeper to build around for the future, the Hawks’ offense returns numerous players that made an impact  in 2016.

Cooper will begin its 2017 season against Heritage Christian at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at Cooper High School.

The Park Center girls soccer team posted a 3-10-3 record in 2016, but the Pirates will look much different in 2017. The Pirates graduated seven seniors following last season, and Keelie Sorensen takes over as Park Center’s head coach.

With quality talent returning to the team this season, Park Center will do what it can do improve on its 2016 season and compete against the tough Northwest Suburban Conference.

Park Center will open the 2017 season against St. Cloud Apollo at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at St. Cloud Apollo High School.

Follow Sun Post sports editor Chris Chesky on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsChris and on Facebook at SunSportsStaff.