Lakers have strong showing late
The Detroit Lakes girls' soccer team was playing its best when it was suppose to -- at the end of the season.
The Lakers finished with a respectable 9-6-1 record, but were a force in the Section 8-1A playoffs, with a fluky 1-0 loss in the semifinals to Sartell ending what could have been a special tournament run.
But DL did see an almost historical season out of senior forward Emily Payne, who exploded with 22 goals, just one shy of the all-time single season record, held by Lane Larson in 2001.
Payne finishes her DL career with 48 goals, ranking her third in points with 104.
Scoring was a strength of the Lakers, as senior forward Libby Schmit also had double digits in goals with 11, while finishing with seven assists.
"Emily credited having a good team behind her for all her scoring, but from a coach's perspective, she was such a strong and quick player," said DL head coach Dave Carter. "It was hard for defenses to keep up with her. But having a good team behind her was key, as well."
Most of Schmit's seven assists went to Payne, making the duo a formidable scoring pair.
But the Lakers also had spread out scoring after those two, with Jade Olson and Halle Jordan each scoring seven and six goals, respectively. Both will be back next season, since they are only a freshman and sophomore.
The midfield collected plenty of assists, as junior Natalie Roth had three, along with six goals and senior Callie Johnson recorded four.
The defense was led by gritty senior Jill Feuillerat, who was an aggressive attacker from her defensive spot.
"Jill was a diamond in the rough when I started her at defense a few years ago," Carter said. "She loves attacking and she loved the freedom I gave her."
She will be the lone defensive player who will not return, as fast sophomores Lindsey Heinecke and Addie Kay Johnson return.
Junior Annika Anderson also returns after a solid year in the backfield.
The Lakers will also have some good junior varsity players vying for playing time in 2013, including seven grader Lauren Tschider and junior Amber Peterman.
Junior Kathryn Foltz grew into the goalie position, improving weekly.
"Her goal kicking and punting early in the season was lacking, but she improved the most on the team," Carter said. "Next year, she will be even better for us in net."
Foltz finished with 186 saves on the season, for an average of 11.6 per game.
The biggest hit DL will take for next year is up front at the forward position, where Payne and Schmit depart.
"We do have people who can do it, but they will have to work hard to fill those forward holes," Carter said. "But overall, this team did play a beautiful game of soccer this season."
Alice Branden was DL's junior varsity coach and helped improve the Lakers into a strong team.
"Alice was playing on the varsity just four or five years ago, so it was an easy transition for her," Carter said.
Savannah Nelson was also the team manager for the 2012 season.
Detroit Lakes girls' soccer 2012 season stats -- Final record: 9-6-1.
Offensive stats (goals-assists-points): Emily Payne 22-3-47; Libby Schmit 11-7-29; Jade Olson 7-6-20; Natalie Roth 6-3-15; Halle Jordan 3-9-15; Anya Butzer 3-3-9; Jill Feuillerat 2-0-6; Callie Johnson 1-4-6; Jordan Lundberg 2-1-5; Lindsey Heinecke 1-0-2; Anna Payne 1-0-2; Addie Kay Johnson 0-2-2; Beth Champa 1-0-2; Kathryn Foltz 1-0-2.
Goalie saves: Foltz 186.
Team awards (Varsity-Junior Varsity) -- Most Valuable Player: Kathryn Foltz.-Amber Peterman...Most Improved: Annikka Anderson-Hailey Wenger...Team Spirit: Libby Schmit-Alexa Anderson...Most Valuable Attacker: Emily Payne-Lauren Tschider...Most Valuable Midfielder: Callie Johnson-Lindsey Dorff...Most Valuable Defensive Player: Addie Kay Johnson-Amber Petermann...Top Gun: Payne...True Grit: Lindsey Heinecke...All-Conference: Payne, Jill Feuillerat, Callie Johnson...2013 Captains: Foltz, Anya Butzer, Natalie Roth.