Laker girls' soccer preview
With the departure of over half their goals from the 2012 season with the graduations of senior attackers Emily Payne and Libby Schmit, the Detroit Lakes girls’ soccer team’s front line attack has been completely revamped.
Pulling some of their defenders from the back to the attack, the Lakers will be in the process of building a stronger offensive presence in games as the season progresses.
“We have a brand new attack with new formations and players playing in new positions,” said DL head coach Dave Carter. “We may not see all the results early on in the season, but I think we will be strong by the end.”
Carter pulled junior defender Addie Kay Johnson to forward, along with senior Natalie Roth from midfield to attacker.
That bolsters the front line, but also leaves a couple of voids in the midfield and defense.
But the attack will also draw from the midfield and defense to apply heavy pressure on the goal.
Senior captain and midfielder Anya Butzer and junior defender Lindsey Heinecke will also be looked upon to find nylon throughout the season.
That quad, along with a strong contingent of other scorers such as seniors Kylie Edwards and Lindsey Dorff, sophomores Jordan Lundberg and Hailey Wenger, freshman Elizabeth Lembke, eighth graders Anna Payne and Lauren Tschider, sophomore Halle Jordan and junior Jade Olson will all look to be in the scoring column.
“Having Addie Kay (Johnson) move from defense to an outside mid gives us more speed and she also has the best kick on the team,” Butzer said. “From the midfield on up, all of us have some nice shots. It will be much more spread out scoring than last year when we would pass it up to Libby or Emily and let them score.”
Carter included with the speed and quickness Heinecke possesses, she has the green light to bolt down the sideline if free and put some shots on net.
“We are hoping for a lot more team scoring than in the past, that’s what we will be relying on,” Carter said.
Senior goalie Kathryn Foltz will also appreciate the up-tick in the potential scoring and sees the chemistry is already present, despite several of the players playing new positions.
“The attack will score more as a group and we will have more attack from the midfield,” Foltz said. “But the team chemistry is already there.”
With Johnson departing her defensive duties, Heinecke will be a key on the backside, as well as the more-experienced Foltz, who had 186 saves in 2012.
“Kathryn, like many of the other players, went to summer camps and that is a big help,” Carter said. “But Kathryn is doing a much better job communicating with her teammates, while having better goal kicks and just having an improved game sense.”
Carter described his defensive formations as more “stout” with the loss of Johnson, but losing plenty of quickness and speed.
Heinecke will still give the defense a speedy presence, though, while the hope is to have junior defensive player Annie Mettert return eventually from an injury.
“We’ll need our younger girls to step up and so far in practice, it looks like they are,” Foltz added.
The momentum of last year’s playoff victory over Bemidji will also be used to reach their 2013 goal, which is to earn a berth in the Class 1A state tournament.
“That win was something to build on,” Roth said. “We know we have big shoes to fill, but we are a good team and everyone is putting in their effort.”
But with good talent returning, the numbers are spread thin, meaning depth isn’t as good as Carter wants it to be.
“We are very light on numbers and will maybe have one or two subs,” the DL coach said. “So we have been working on endurance during practice.”
The season will kick off for the Lakers Saturday at defending Section 8-1A champions Alexandria, starting at 1 p.m.
The home opener will be Thursday with Bemidji, starting at 7 p.m.
Detroit Lakes girls’ soccer 2013 schedule:
24 at Alexandria
5 at Hillcrest
7 at Fergus Falls
10 at Becker
12 at East Grand Forks
14 Fergus Falls
19 at Moorhead
21 at Little Falls
24 East Grand Forks
26 at Crookston
3 at Bemidji
10 Section play-in
12 Section quarterfinals
15 Section semifinals
17 Section Finals