Jessie Hunt

Jessie Hunt will play soccer for the Wisconsin Badgers next season. (Photo by John Sherman)

While the 2019 soccer season was disappointing for Edina tri-captain Jessie Hunt, due to an injury in the fourth game, she persevered and fulfilled her leadership role.

“We really missed having Jessie on the field,” Edina head coach Katie Aafedt said, after she watched Hunt sign a national letter of intent to play for the University of Wisconsin next season. “Jessie has the highest soccer IQ of any player I’ve ever coached and can make a 30-yard pass on a dime.”

Hunt was not one of those injured players who withdrew from the team. She was at every game, leading from the bench after surgery on her left ankle.

“I couldn’t be prouder of how Jessie handled the situation,” Aafedt said. “She is an amazingly loyal teammate and friend.”

Of course, it was hard for Hunt to miss most of the season, yet she was very proud that the Hornets tied Minnetonka for the Lake Conference title.

“It was tough at first,” Hunt said, “There was a chance I might have been able to play if we had won the section and gone on to state.”

But minus Hunt, the Hornets fell to Minnetonka 3-0 in the Section 2AA finals.

Hunt said her decision to join the Wisconsin Badgers next season was an easy one.

“I really like the coaching staff and the team chemistry there,” she said. “I committed in March of my junior year.”

During the offseason, Hunt honed her soccer skills with Minnesota Thunder Academy, and playing a high level of club soccer certainly boosted her chances of winning a Division I scholarship.

“It helped a lot to play for Thunder Academy,” she said. “I had some really good teammates.”

Hunt said she hopes to continue playing midfield in college. Her second choice of position would be outside back.

One of the challenges she anticipates is playing against her high school teammate, Sophia Boman, who will join the Minnesota Gophers next season.

“Sophia and I have been best friends for a long time,” Hunt said. “It will be fun to play against her.”

Aafedt praised Boman for a career that included three All-State awards and four All-Lake Conference plaques.

“Sophia is not only a great soccer player, but also one of the most positive people I know,” the coach said. “I could tell immediately when she came to the team in ninth grade that she would become a great player. She is the most complete player I have coached. The most telling thing about her as a person is that her teammates unanimously voted for her as a captain two years in a row.”

Edina’s other senior captain, All-State center back Abby Swanda, has accepted a scholarship offer to play for Colorado Christian University next season.

“Abby was the first person to welcome new girls to the team,” Aafedt said. “She has always been optimistic and kind and the sweetest person on and off the field.”

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