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Park girls soccer: Wolfpack kick off season with pair of wins

The Park girls soccer team played a strong possession game in its season-opening victory Thursday over Kasson-Mantorville.

It continued that strong play into its game against Apple Valley on Saturday, defeating the Eagles 2-1.

Junior midfielder Allie Bednarek scored the lone goal in Thursday's win, assisted on a cross from Allison Best as the Wolfpack defeated the KoMets 1-0.

Juniors Sydney Pedersen and Tina Press scored in the Apple Valley win, assisted by Maggie Hallock and Katie Friese, respectively.

Park scored just three minutes into the win Saturday on a combination play from Pedersen and Hallock and added Press' goal with three minutes remaining in the half. The game became more physical in the second half, co-head coach Stacy Paleen said, and Apple Valley scored with about eight minutes remaining.

"We left our possession game and tried to match them physically," she said. "They were just much bigger than we were."

The Wolfpack are more of a possession team this year, Paleen said, with several players under 5-foot-3 in the starting lineup. The team is working on replacing last year's goalie, Abby Kirsch, as well as top scorers Mariah Troje and Ciara Gregory.

Juniors Alivia Kons and Sarah Harter split time in goal last week and each made several key plays, Paleen said.

Park was scheduled to face St. Michael-Albertville on Tuesday. The Knights play on a grass field, which doesn't suit Park as well as turf, Paleen said.

"It's just so much easier to use footwork, speed on turf," she said. "Being that fast, skilled team, grass will slow us down a little bit."

The Wolfpack will face Tartan on Wednesday.