Girls’ soccer wins first conference game

Team unifies in pressure system

Alec Pittman

Malaika Bigrinavyi moves swiftly up the field as Rafferty Kugler races to support her. Kugler sends it to the back of the net with help from Birgrindavyi, scoring as a team.

The girls’ soccer team had a very tough pre-season, according to head coach Benjy Kent. The girls played five non-conference games and went 1-2-2. Throughout the season, Kent said they continue to develop their attacking system.

“We tied Southwest and Minnetonka and lost 1-0 to Hopkins. Given that caliber of competition in that short a span of time shows how much the team has grown,” Kent said. “Hopefully it leaves us hungry and makes us want some wins in the conference.”

The girls had played some good teams before their conference win against Chaska, senior captain Madeline Djerf said.

“I feel pretty confident about our conference games,” Djerf said. “Being able to play tough out of conference games has helped us prepare for our conference games and we know how we want to play.”

According to Djerf, the use of a pressuring system has benefited the unity of the team in both attacking and defending situations.

“Everyone on the team is on the same page about when we all step up as a team, we are attacking as a team. The same thing with dropping when we drop a defender, we all defend as a team,” Djerf said.

The girls are developing more as a team even without much time in between games, according to Kent.

“The tricky part is that we play so many days with only one day off in between games that you have only so many things you can work on and change in one day,” Kent said. “The cool part is this year, I think we have a really responsible group of players and I was just talking with them about how they don’t have to wait for us to think about and work on things”.

According to Djerf, the team didn’t know what to expect out of Chaska at their first conference game.

“We had beat them last season and they’re always a good opponent,” Djerf said. “Going into the game we knew it was going to be a competitive match and it just felt good to be able to score and keep the win throughout the game.”

Kent said the team will be working on their offense around the goal.

“I would say this first half of the season we didn’t score a lot of goals,” Kent said. “We’re working on our shape and the attacking part of the game and how we play together in the attacking part of the field, and how to create more pressure.”

The next game for the girls takes place 5 p.m. Sept. 23rd at the high school stadium. The girls will take on Bloomington Kennedy for their second conference game.