2012 Fall Preview: East Ridge girls soccer team high on talent again in 2012With the bevy of soccer talent throughout south Washington County, the East Ridge girls soccer team hasn’t had to struggle out of the gate like some other start-ups might have.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
With the bevy of soccer talent throughout south Washington County, the East Ridge girls soccer team hasn’t had to struggle out of the gate like some other start-ups might have.
In its first three seasons East Ridge is a combined 40-16-2 and already has one state tournament appearance.
Last year’s squad had the best record in team history, going 14-4 overall and finished third in the Suburban East Conference with a 6-3 league mark. The only two teams above the Raptors in the final conference standings were fellow District 833 schools. Woodbury, ranked fourth in the state, won the SEC championship with a perfect 9-0 record and Park, ranked 10th in the state, was second with a 6-2-1 record.
This fall, Raptors fans should expect more of the same.
East Ridge head coach Mark Abboud, entering his fourth year at the Raptors’ reins, said his team is “very well-rounded this year with a mixture of experience and youth” but that it is “very young.” East Ridge has four seniors, three juniors, 12 sophomores and five freshmen on its current roster.
Key players returning to the Raptors this fall include: senior goalie Kim Clinch, senior defender Elizabeth Koprucki, senior midfielder Noelle Arcand and senior forward Katelyn Bergloff. Clinch and Koprucki were named team captains this season. The team also brings back standouts in junior midfielder Kari Solheim, sophomore defender Payton Goulding, and freshman forward Mariah Troje and welcomes promising newcomers Kathleen Sparks and Katie Scheibner to the mix.
The players will look to fill the soccer shoes of departed stars Anastasia Medellin, Anna Solheim and Mackenzie Lewis, who were among eight 2012 graduates.
East Ridge has started the year 0-1-1 with a 2-1 loss to Andover and a 1-1 tie with St. Michael-Albertville in the Irondale tournament last week.
East Ridge kicks off conference play with a doozy as it plays host to rival Woodbury on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at East Ridge High School.
The usual suspects will stand in East Ridge’s way of conference and section championship titles in 2012. Woodbury, Stillwater and White Bear Lake are expected to be the teams to beat in conference and section play. Woodbury starts the season ranked sixth in Class AA, East Ridge is 12th, Stillwater is 13th and Park is 18th.