The St. Michael-Albertville girls’ varsity soccer team is on their way to the state tournament. The team plays in the quarterfinals round at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow evening, Oct. 26, where they face off against Wayzata at St. Cloud State University.
The girls’ varsity team had a 15-3-1 overall record this season and dominated Mississippi 8 conference play, with 8 wins and 1 loss for a second-place finish in the conference. High school activities director Keith Cornell said that Rogers was the only conference team to beat them this season with a score of 0-1, but the Lady Knights came back for revenge at section finals and beat them 1-0 on Rogers’ home turf.
“They have a perennially strong girls’ program as well,” he said of Rogers. “Anytime you lose to a team but are able to come back and beat them later in the year, I think that’s a good feeling.”
The girls’ soccer team is no stranger to the state tournament, having also made appearances in 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2016. However, the team graduated several strong players last year who played on varsity for 3-5 years and now play college soccer, including Makenzie Langdok, who was named 2016’s Ms. Soccer for the state of Minnesota. Despite those losses, the team has bounced back for another strong season.
“While they certainly lost a good core, coach [Megan] Johnson does a great job, year in and year out, of having the girls play at a high level,” Cornell said.
“We have some great leadership this year, hard-working girls, and a lot of talented young freshmen and sophomores,” head coach Johnson said.
The Knights are sure to face some stiff competition tomorrow, with Wayzata being the #1 seeded team in the state tournament. But Cornell said the team has faced strong competitors before in non-conference play as well as Rogers, so he said their season has helped prepare them to battle a powerhouse team like Wayzata.
“The girls have worked really hard at practice this week, they have great attitudes,” Johnson said. “They’re ready to go out and out work Wayzata.”
Student fan buses depart from the STMA High School at 4:15 p.m. tomorrow, and KRWC AM 1360 radio will be broadcasting the game for those who cannot attend.
Edina and Eagan face off after STMA and Wayzata finish their game tomorrow, and the winners of those two games will play one another in the semifinals Oct. 31 at the US Bank Stadium.