KoMets fall to Park in home opener
The Kasson-Mantorville girls soccer team opened up their 2017 season last week as they hosted Park of Cottage Grove on August 24. While the weather was perfect and the action was fierce, the KoMets would come up empty handed at KMTelecom Stadium falling in a 1-0 match.
Despite the defeat, head coach Chris Soderberg remained optimistic with his team’s effort. “In general, I thought we played well against Park,” Soderberg observed. “They are a much bigger school with [a roster made up of] mostly juniors and seniors whereas we have a much younger team just learning how to play with each other.”
The first half of the match was controlled by the Wolfpack as they were able to use their aggressiveness to camp in the K-M zone. Despite the constant pressure, goaltender Laken Bartel was able to keep Park off the board and keep things scoreless heading into halftime.
“I thought our defense played a very good game,” Soderberg declared. “They got a ton of action as Park controlled possession most of the night. Laken was phenomenal in goal, too. Our defense limited Park’s opportunities, but when they got scoring chances, Laken was able to shut them down.”
When the two teams broke out of their huddles, the KoMets were able to make adjustments and level the pitch out for a couple scoring chances of their own. Still, the pressure continued from Park as Mandy Elton would put in the game-winner midway through the second half to hand K-M the defeat.
Looking ahead, Soderberg realizes that the effort against Park was one of a new team just trying to find its footing at the beginning of the year.
“We need to work on communication on the field with our new, young players,” Soderberg explained. “Offensively, we hope to get a few more opportunities even against a strong team like Dover-Eyota on Tuesday.”
The game against Park represented the beginning of what gures to be a brutal schedule for the KoMets this season. Among the highlights will be three teams that made the Class A state tournament a year ago including their opponent from Tuesday night, Dover-Eyota.
After facing the Eagles earlier this week, K-M will return home on Thursday for its HVL opener against Lake City. The team will get to rest up through the Labor Day weekend and return to action on September 7 when they travel to Rochester Lourdes in an early conference showdown.