Girls’ soccer emphasizes preseason play

New stadium adds home advantage


DaeBreona Byrd

Senior Sammi Baer dribbles the ball during practice. The team plays its home opener at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at the stadium against Washburn.

Alec Pittman

Senior girls’ soccer captain Mei Li Liss looks forward to playing the majority of her team’s season in the newly updated stadium.

Liss said she feels excited about seeing old teammates as well as welcoming new girls to the team.

“Personally I am very excited for this season because I am going to be a captain with three other girls, and I can’t wait to play with all my high school friends again,” Liss said. “I think there’s a really good group of girls this season and I can’t wait to play in the newly redone stadium.”

Head coach Benjy Kent said the team played challenging scrimmages in the preseason to prepare for the difficult regular season schedule.

“I think we have a pretty good schedule in terms of playing some tough conference opponents and some really tough non-conference games,” Kent said. “We scheduled a bunch of scrimmages against teams like Rosemount and Park Cottage Grove.”

Freshman junior varsity player Aliviah McClinton said she feels confident in the team after playing in the preseason.

“Everyone on the team has been doing well in scrimmages and we all have good skill so I think we will do well this season,” McClinton said.

According to Liss, as a captain she must ensure all members of the team are included and enjoy playing.

“I would say some responsibilities of being a captain would be making sure everyone is having fun but also improving,” Liss said. “We also want to make it a fun environment.”

Kent said the preseason serves as an important time for the girls to bond as a team after playing on different club teams.

“The kids go all over the place and play most of the year with other programs. So things like scrimmages and the preseason are so important because it is an opportunity for people to come together,” Kent said.

According to McClinton, playing with girls at the high school level will be more difficult than summer soccer.

“I am excited about having more of a challenge in games compared to my club team in the summer. I think it will just be a fun experience,” McClinton said.

The team will play its home opener at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at the stadium against Minneapolis Washburn.