The women’s high school soccer season moves quickly. The Lady Spartans completed four games over the past week and now stand atop of the Wright County Conference with a record of 4-0-1, 5-3-3 overall. Match highlights include;
Orono squared off against Glencoe Sliver Lake Panthers on Sept. 12. After a slight rain delay the teams hit the pitch for a conference match. The Orono defense anchored by Ally Swenson, Halle Foster, Jillian Cook, and Ruby Fragola held firm and quickly turned the play up field. The Spartans were soon on the offensive and had the Panthers on their heels for the remainder of the first half.
Orono opened the scoring early and often with two goals from Reiley Prueter within the opening 10 minutes of play. Sadie Koltes scored a goal and had an assist, Anna Tesar scored her first goal of the 2019 season and Halle Foster put one in the net from outside the 18 to finish the first half, Spartans 5 - Panthers 0. Orono opened the second half scoring quickly with a goal from Frankie Fragola. Frankie added another midway through the second half. Gabby Hyrkas scored her first goal of the 2019 season late in the half and the Spartans closed out the match with a score Orono 8 - GSL 0.
Orono welcomed their long time non-conference rival, the Blake Bears to Pesonen stadium on Sept. 13 for special Spartan’s Homecoming match. The excitement was high and so were the Spartans nerves. The Lady Spartans were missing four starters and knew the Bears would be a challenge. Within the first minute of play midfielder Reiley Prueter was taken down twice with the second leading to a knee injury that sidelined her for the remainder of the first half. The Spartans then rallied with great play from midfielders Sadie Koltes, Frankie Fragola and defenders Jillian Cook, Halle Foster, Ruby Fragola and Ally Swenson.
Blake continued to apply pressure on Orono and challenged the Spartans back-up goaltender Molly Martini, who made numerous spectacular saves to keep Orono in the match. The Bears finally broke through in the 33 minute to score. Bears 1 - Orono 0 at halftime. The Spartans picked up their intensity in the second half and pressed the Blake goalie with several excellent scoring chances from Meghan Marzolf, Nora Chouanard and Reiley Prueter. Blake added a second goal midway through the half and held Orono off for a 2 - 0 victory.
“This wasn’t our best game, but we learned from it and it will make us better as a team and as individuals. Blake is a good team and we respect that, we are confident that we can play better if there is a rematch this year,” Coach Murray said.
Orono traveled west on Sept. 17 to take on their Wright County nemesis the Waconia Wildcats. The Wildcats played spoiler vs. the Spartans in 2018 in taking home the honors as the Wright County Champions. Orono placed several nice shots on goal by Madee Sabatier and Jillian Cook from outside the 18 but the Wildcat goalie stopped them all. Waconia increased their tempo and pressed the Orono defenders. Late in the first half, the Wildcats had a through-in deep in the Spartan’s defensive zone. With an acrobatic flip through-in deep into Orono’s 18, the Wildcats scored off a header that squeaked past Orono goal tender, Claire Gagne for a 1-0 lead.
Orono came out hot in the second half pressing hard for a goal. Anna Tesar deflected from Meghan Marzolf and placed a high curving shot from outside the 18. Her shot went just over the Wildcat goalies out stretched hands into the back of the net bringing the final score Orono 1 - Waconia 1.
“We’re happy with our overall performance against Waconia. We came out strong and controlled the first half…Tesar’s goal was the result of a total team effort topped off with an amazing shot,” Coach Murray said.
On Sept. 19, the undefeated Watertown-Mayer Royals came to town. The Royal’s were a much improved team and had beat several formidable conference opponents prior to facing the Spartans. The Spartan defenders, Ally Swenson, Jillian Cook Halle Foster, and Ruby Fragola shut the door. Orono turned the ball up field leading to several early shots by Spartan forwards Meghan Marzolf and Nora Chouanard which the Royal’s net minder cancelled those attempts.
The Spartan’s controlled play in the midfield and soon set Reiley Prueter loose on a breakaway with a well placed through ball. Orono continued to apply pressure until time expired in the first half with the score 0 - 0. Orono quickly went on the attack in the second half with goal in the opening minute by midfielder Sadie Koltes. The Spartans did not let up and continually advanced the play and placed numerous shots on net. The Royal’s goalie made spectacular saves including a shot from Anna Tesar on the within the 6 off a sweet cross from Nora Chouanard. Tesar returned the favor with a beautiful cross on Chouanard’s goal in the final 11 seconds of the match. Final Orono 2 - WTM 0.
Coach Murray and the Spartans have 5 matches remaining in the regular season and are looking to finishing strong in the Wright County conference.
Follow the Orono Women’s Soccer 2019 season on Twitter at; Orono Girls’ Soccer @OronoGSoccer