/ Articles / Lakeland girls’ soccer returns talent all over field
The high school prep spring season has been unprecedented, but with players, coaches and more working hard on their season, I’m previewing what would have been their season.
The girls’ soccer team is up next. Young talent and elite leaders are prepared to help take these Thunderbirds to the next level.
Finishing 9-9-1 overall, 3-6-1 in the GNC, the Thunderbirds finished fourth in their grouping which included Ashland, Rhinelander and Northland Pines.
Lakeland scored 51 goals and allowed 49. Those numbers were similar in conference, where they scored 25 goals and gave up 28.
The Thunderbirds’ top two point scorers were both freshman last year and were ready to come back even better.
In conference, Sophia Myshchyshyn scored six goals for 12 points. Fellow sophomore Olivia Melka scored 12 points, coming off of four goals and four assists. Melka’s four assists were tied for seventh best in conference.
Myshchyshyn was the only freshman on the first team all-conference. Melka was on the second team last year.
Other sophomore Leah Wolfe played a factor in the middle and recorded five points on two goals and one assist. Jenna Whitman is also a sophomore who scored two points on two assists playing in the back on defense.
Captain Abby Parris was ready for her senior season. Last season she scored four goals and recorded an assist for nine points in conference play. Katie Tharman on defense is another girl to look out for.
Both Parris and Wolfe were on the honorable mention team a year ago.
The Thunderbirds do lose a couple of key players from last year. Sagen Quale was another player in the middle who recorded four goals for eight points in conference. Erika Intrepedi played on the outside and recorded six points. Both players were honorable mention all conference.
As far as newcomers are concerned and who would join the varsity and make an immediate impact, one girl came to mind.
“I did not know many of the newcomers or see any of them play yet, so there could have been a hidden game that I was not aware of,” coach Stephanie Hartzheim said. “Alyson Lazaroff was a player I was looking forward to seeing on the field.’
The goaltending was an interesting situation a year ago. The Thunderbirds ended up using five different keepers on the year.
Clair Kamisnki got the most starts and went 2-2 with 31 saves in conference play. Her .816 save percentage was fifth amongst goalies with a minimum of 30% of team minutes.
Tessa Tormoen went 0-1 with 21 saves. Additionally, both Kiah Gauthier and Erika Rein played 90 minutes in goal. Gauthier won her start with a total of three saves and Rein tied her start recording six saves.
In regional play, Grace Dorsey got some action in the goal recording a couple of saves.
Hartzheim was planning on having an open competition to see who would have been this year’s goalie.
“The keeper position is open and whoever decides to train and come to the field ready to play would be the one going in net,” she said.
When it comes to the GNC, Ashland went 10-0 a season ago and look to be strong again. Offensive Player of the Year Claire Custer returns for Ashland. Custer totaled 30 points a season ago on 13 goals and four assists.
Defensively, they allowed just one goal in conference and that goal was scored by Myshchyshyn.
“I think all of the top teams from last year in the GNC were still the ones to look out for … Rhinelander, Pines and Ashland,” Hartzheim said.
Rhinelander returns Isabelle Haverkampf, who recored 25 points and Kenedy Van Zile who recorded 15 points, amongst others. They went 8-2 in conference. Other top teams from a year ago who would have most certainly been in the mix was Northland Pines (6-4) and Medford (5-3).
The hardest part of the season cancellation was the fact the girls couldn’t play the full season they had worked so hard for.
“I was looking forward to getting out on the field with all of the girls. I was pretty disappointed and heartbroken for the girls that we could not get out this spring to play, especially for the seniors,” Hartzheim said. “I know many of the girls were really looking forward to the season all year and have been training all year for it as well.”
But now there is a chance the girls and most importantly seniors, can finish their season as planned.
“I am looking forward to seeing the girls that will be able to make it out for practices and games,” Hartzheim said. “I am also excited for some of the seniors to be able to close their chapter as an LUHS soccer player.”
With the possibility of games and practices coming up, this gives players a chance to work and improve on their skills, even if just for a couple weeks.
“Soccer is a sport some of the girls work on all year with club teams and then LUHS,” Hartzheim said. “Being able to get out on the field will help continue to develop the girls with their skills.”