The reigning Section 7AA champions Anoka Tornadoes return 13 players with experience at the state tournament, despite a sub-.500 9-10-2 record.
Captains include senior goalkeeper Chantelle Palermo, senior defender Emily Johnson and junior defender Gabby Horsch.
Second-year head coach Amber Woeltge is looking forward to seeing what three sophomores will do in their second season of varsity soccer along with the return of a healthy junior midfielder Sydney Randall coming off a summer that included a championship at the Elite Club National League nationals with her club team, Minnesota Thunder Academy under-16s. Sophomore forward Cassie Giddings won a state title with her club team, North Metro U15 C1.
Senior captain and midfielder Maddy Greiss returns this season after leading the Huskies with eight goals and 10 assists for the club that tied for sixth place with Elk River in the Northwest Suburban Conference. Andover sophomore standout attacker Rebecka Musungu scored five goals with three assists as a ninth-grader.
The Huskies return nine players with varsity experience including fellow senior captains and starting defensemen Lexi Novak and Megan Brook. Junior multiple-sport standout Joli Daninger returns to the midfield along with classmates Morgan Willey and Megan Vante. Sophomore Alli Jenkins finished with three goals as a freshman midfielder.
Blaine is coming off a runner-up finish in the section, losing the section final to Anoka at Bengals Stadium.
Despite the tough ending to the season Blaine managed an impressive 13-4-2 overall record after a fourth place finish in a very competitive Northwest Suburban Conference.
The team returns with senior captains Savanna Schneider (8 goals, 3 assists), Sydney Siem (6 goals, 2 assists) and Haley Borja (3 goals, 2 assists).
Joining the seniors will be two freshmen in the starting line up including Lizzy Eggers and Lauren Driste, both of which have caught the attention of coach Scott Zachmann with their work ethic to secure a starting role.
Also returning is junior goalkeeper Emily Brown. The standout hockey defenseman, who is already verbally committed to play hockey at the University of Minnesota, is considered by her coach to be the best shot stopper in the state.
She made 123 saves with a .911 saves percentage averaging 0.76 goals per game in 1,265 minutes over 17 games last season with six clean sheets.
Last fall she made 17 saves in a 1-0 win over Coon Rapids, 15 saves in a 3-0 win over Park Center, 14 saves in a 2-0 win over Andover and in the section semifinal against Andover stopped 13-of-14 shots.
The tri-captains have a large task ahead to help fill the void in the line up after the graduation of all-state forward Britney Monteon and her 21 goals and nine assists as a senior last fall. This fall she will play at North Dakota State University.
This will be Zachmann’s fifth season during which he’s compiled a 45-23-10 record.
The top returning scorers for Coon Rapids are senior midfielder Erin Jenkins, who tallied six goals and five assists, and senior forward Alli Miskowiec, with five goals and six assists. Jenkins also had 21 shots, second most on the team, trailing only graduated Allie Erickson’s 52 shots last fall.
Coon Rapids struggled to get going last season after being shutout in the opening three matches before settling for a 1-1 draw in the home opener against Robbinsdale Armstrong. They strung together four straight wins and won five-of-six toward the second half of the season, despite being shutout six times in 17 games.
Legacy is coming off a fifth-place finish in the MCAA standings (3-3-2) and 6-7-3 overall record after reaching the second round of the Section 5A tournament before losing to Totino-Grace 10-0.
Captains this season include senior forward Jenna Peterson, junior forward Sophie Kendall and senior defender Rebeckah Kirby. Legacy opens the season Friday against Fridley.
PACT Charter is coming off a two-win 2014 season so expectations coming into 2015 are set on at least doubling that total with a group of eight seniors, including goalkeeper Kelly Hannasch.
Senior defenders are Grace Thannum, Kelsi Kirkvold and Nadia Makhmach; senior midfieler Charlotte Anderson and senior forward Erin Fisher. The Panthers have two juniors and four sophomores listed on the roster ahead of the Friday opener against Spectrum and Saturday against Mayer Lutheran.
Spring Lake Park-St. Anthony and St. Francis did not return preseason information before this edition was published.