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2013 Fall Sports Preview: East Ridge girls soccer team looks to replace nine

Senior Kari Solheim returns for a fifth season and as a captain of the East Ridge girls soccer team this fall. (Bulletin photo by Nick Gerhardt)

Head coach Mark Abboud likes to say the regular season is only preparation for the postseason and last year the Raptors played their best soccer at the end of the season.

The East Ridge girls soccer team started last season meekly, but went on a tear through the final six games of the regular season. Now the Raptors will have to find a way to carry that momentum into this season following the exit of several important contributors.

The list of non-returns totals nine, which includes four seniors from last season. Due to transfers and players joining club teams, East Ridge will have plenty of spots to fill. Emily Heslin and Mariah Troje transferred to different schools while Payton Goulding and Taylor Turner joined club teams this fall.

Despite the losses head coach Mark Abboud said there’s more overall talent than previous years. Abboud enters his fifth season as head coach and said the team will be technical.

The returners Abboud has to draw from are senior forward Kari Solheim, senior defender Jaden Vogelgesang and senior defender Lauren Kubat.

The Raptors enjoyed some late-season success last year with a six-game unbeaten streak. East Ridge won its five previous matches before ending the regular season with a 1-1 draw against South St. Paul. The Raptors finished with a 6-9-2 overall record and a 4-5 mark in the Suburban East Conference.

East Ridge won its first game of the season Sept. 4 last year, but then dropped its next six consecutive games. Four of those six losses came by one goal.

Stillwater ended the Raptors’ season last year in the first round of the Section 4AA playoffs in a shootout loss to the third-seeded Ponies.

White Bear Lake advanced to the state tournament from the section after beating Stillwater 1-0 in the section final. The Bears eventually fell 2-0 to Wayzata in the state championship game.

East Ridge began the season with a 2-1 non-conference win over Irondale last Thursday in Woodbury. Next, the Raptors kick off Suburban East Conference play against rival Park in Cottage Grove on Thursday, Sept. 5.

—Nick Gerhardt

Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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