Hopkins High girls soccer captains Lavin Douglass, Margaret Dosdall and Mary O’Neil weren’t sure what to expect in the season opener against St. Louis Park Aug. 23 at Hopkins High Stadium.
There were many new players in the lineup, most of them untested at this level.
However, at the end of the night, the captains were smiling and ready to express their optimism for the season, courtesy of a 3-0 win.
“Tonight’s game exceeded my expectations,” said Douglass, the returning All-State midfielder. “The new girls were ready to play right off the bat.”
“Our intensity level was really good and so was the pace,” said O’Neil, another returning starter for coach Justin Hegre’s Royals.
“The best thing I saw is that we’re coming together by giving a full effort,” said Dosdall.
Sophomore Amelia Carrizales and junior Lauren Schaffler scored goals in the first half, and Douglass put an exclamation point on the victory by slamming home a penalty kick in the second half.
Junior goalkeeper Sophie Norman was another standout for the Royals. She made a save to stop a breakaway early in the second half, and that play frustrated Park more than anything else Hopkins did.
“Sophie is kind of ruthless,” said Douglas. “And she is also very loud. I like the way she inspires the other players.”
“We have some new players this year, and Park has some fresh faces too,” said O’Neil, who plays on the co-op Hopkins-Park girls hockey team in the winter. “We were motivated to start on a strong note tonight.”
The Royals were walking tall after the victory and sporting their new warmup jackets.
“We have all new bags, uniforms and apparel this year,” O’Neil noted.
The Royals might be the youngest team in the Lake Conference with only six seniors. In addition to the three captains, the seniors are forward Riley O’Neil, midfielder Emma Galinson and defender Olivia Behn.
Juniors in addition to Schaffler and Sophie Norman are defenders Reese Lovell and Abigail Anderson, midfielder Kaitlyn Raisch and defender Laura Frank.
The sophomore class includes three players - Carrizales, forward Anika Firehammer and Josie Fieldman, a returning starter in the midfield. The only ninth-grader on varsity is defender Elizabeth Norman.
Members of Hegre’s coaching staff are Julie Magnuson, Tom Gordon, John Pass and Sammi Crocker.
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