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Girls soccer: Raptors knock off No. 9 Eastview

East Ridge ninth grader Madi Majewski, right, smiles as she runs downfield after scoring the first goal of the game. The Raptors opened the season in style with a 3-0 win against ninth-ranked Eastview. (Photo by John Molene)1 / 3
East Ridge's Brittany Mahowald, left, and Noelle Tomes try to move the ball downfield in the first half against visiting Eastview last Thursday. (Photo by John Molene)2 / 3
East Ridge senior defender Emma Stoehr battles for the ball at midfield against an Eastview opponent. (Photo by John Molene)3 / 3

The East Ridge Raptors kicked off the 2016 girls soccer season with a bang last Thursday, scoring a 3-0 home win against ninth-ranked Eastview.

The Raptors, ranked 17th in the girls Class 2A preseason poll, dominated the action both offensively and defensively.

"Eastview is a good team," Raptors coach Mark Abboud said. "That's why we scheduled them. Again, coming into this year I knew we were going to have a strong team and I knew we wanted to get tested as early as we could by good teams. Luckily things just went our way. We've had about 1-1/2 weeks of training so it's really effort and attitude.

"I was counting on the girls and I think they showed it. The core group of 14 seniors who I think led by example, our little ninth grader gets our first goal and opens up our campaign really well, and the fans were unbelievable. It meant a lot to the girls to have that type of fan support there. Twenty-three girls saw the field and 23 contributed."

On a team with 14 seniors, it was freshman defender Madison Majewski who drew first blood, scoring in the first half. Brittany Mahowald gave East Ridge a 2-0 lead with 16 minutes, 2 seconds to play in the first half.

"I felt that we possessed really, really well in our attacking half, and even in our last third, I felt there wasn't a lot of kicking and there were a lot of great possessions and we got three goals," left wing Majewski said. "Last year they beat us 3-0 so it was a turn of events."

Emily Bunnell made it a 3-0 East Ridge advantage with a goal at the 34:32 mark in the second half.

The Raptors used a pair of sophomores in goal. Erika Freiberg and Peyton Gutenberg both made several tough stops to preserve the shutout.

"I think we went in thinking well of ourselves," junior center back Tori Bennett said. "Our goal is to go to state so I think we went in and planned to play well."

The Raptors play at 7:30 p.m. Monday at St. Michael-Albertville.