The Mound Westonka Girls Soccer team lost their first game of the season by just one goal under the lights in Delano on Friday, Aug. 28.
The game started with a strong wind in Delano’s favor, and they put Mound under pressure right from the start. In the 10th minute, Mound junior Anna Elliot bravely blocked a Delano shot, but the rebound fell kindly to Delano senior Gretchen Barta who buried the chance.
While there were no more goals, there were plenty of chances created for both sides and any result seemed possible. First year head coach Doug Lerfald was pleased with the confidence that the Mound team developed throughout the game. “They deserved to get goals and the girls played with great team spirit. I was pleased with the way they held possession and created chances,” he said. Final: Delano 1 – Mound Westonka 0.
In Mound’s second game, against visiting Rockford on Monday, Aug. 31, the team continued building their confidence. The first half opened with sustained possession from Mound in the Rockford half. The breakthrough came midway through the half after junior Megan Wanner drilled a long shot after an assist from junior captain Libby McCue.
Against the run of play, Rockford tied the game with 10 minutes to go in the first half after a scramble in front of the Mound goal let Rockford poke it home.
Mound were not, however, going to be denied on this night. The spine of the team, from Elliot in defense through Wanner and senior captain Grace Carlson in central midfield and sophomore Alicia Hatlestad in offense, was just too good for Rockford and they controlled the game the rest of the way. Numerous chances peppered the Rockford goalie, and it was no surprise when Hatlestad scored early in the second half after great build-up play from Carlson and sophomore Jordyn LaRue.
Rockford mounted a comeback in the last few minutes as they realized their 8-plus year winning streak against Mound was possibly coming to an end, however, excellent defensive play from senior captain Sydney Eidsness kept Mound in front..
Nerves were calmed with four minutes to go as Hatlestad scored her second goal after a second assist from McCue set her off on a breakaway. Final: Mound 3 – Rockford 1.