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For Maple Grove Girls Soccer, the Time is Now

Jul 30, 2017 08:45PM ● Published by Doug Erlien

In the 21-years since Maple Grove Senior High School opened their doors, there have been memorable sports moments and amazing individual accomplishments. There is one thing that has eluded the Crimson.

A team sport state championship.

That fact might be about to change.

The Crimson Girls Soccer team had an amazing 12-3-3 season and fell to Centennial 3-2 in the section championship - a game in which the Crimson held a 2-1 lead with seven minutes remaining. The senior laden Cougars carried that momentum, and a little luck along the way to a class AA state championship. “It stung a bit for the kids to realize that when we tell them they had the potential to be state champs, we really meant it,” Crimson Head Coach Ben LeVahn said. “I think it will make us hungrier. The captains have a little edge in their voice as they talk about the season.” 

Now it is the Crimson that appear on the edge of a breakthrough season. Senior Meredith Haakenson, the Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year and has committed to play Division 1 soccer at Michigan, leads a deep and talented team that returns most of the offensive firepower that propelled the Crimson through the schedule last year - including junior Mannon McMahon (who finished last season with 10 goals and five assists) and junior Mia Omar (who verbally committed to Division-1 for Florida Atlantic University and finished last season with five goals and nine assists). The Crimson defense allowed only 16 goals all of last year, including an impressive 10 shutouts. 

“We’re very excited with the fact that so many of our impact players are coming back this year,” LeVahn said. “There’s also a lot of depth with quality players in the program, so we’ll have some new players creating their own impact. Early in the year, we’re looking to find different combinations of players that work well together. Out of the roughly 18-19 players (our usual roster size), we’ll probably be represented by 11 different club teams. Having players rebuild that rapport is critical to our early but more importantly our long term success. Team defense early on will be a big focus as I think the offense will come a little quicker.”

Having been to the section championship game in three of the past four seasons, it appears as though the time might be now for Maple Grove.

Tryouts begin Monday, Aug.14. 

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