A soccer season of growth

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 9, 2002

The season for the Albert Lea U-10 girls’ soccer team came to a conclusion the same way it started, in a thunderstorm. The team traveled to Blaine hoping to play its final three games in the U9-10 Jamboree, only to have the storms force the cancellation of the games. This was the last Jamboree appearance for these girls.

The Albert Lea Youth Soccer Association U-9 and U-10 program is considered a noncompetitive program. The emphasis is placed on personal skill development, equal playing time, and having fun. The U-10 girls enjoyed a good season of growth. Several players made the transition from their reliance on personal strengths to the ability to rely on the team. Some individual players also learned new skills to complement their playing abilities. This is a big stride in development for future years.

This team has played exciting and competitive soccer all season long, according to Coach Winkels. The girls physically dominated play in the majority of their games and defense was the key. They also have the good fortune of having three quality goalkeepers.

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The team finished the season with a record of 6-6-4. The six losses were by a total of eight goals. The Albert Lea offense outshot the opponents by a wide margin in nearly every game; however, the net proved elusive for the girls. Twenty-six goals were scored during the season. Every member of the team had multiple shots on goal during the season and in several of the games every player had at least one shot on goal. This point really emphasizes the diversity of this team.

The team members are Abbey Arends, Jenna Bowman, Tara Chirpich, Kaitlin Cope, Kellsie Dieser, Sage Fitzgerald-Prihoda, Jill Jensen, Ellie Johnson, Lauren Klick, Kelsey Koziolek, Mariah Maras, Sophie Miller, Kelsey Paulson, Madi Passingham, Morgan Stadheim, and Elizabeth Winkels. Coaches are Jeff Miller and Dwaine Winkels.