Maple Grove Girls Soccer Ready to Break Through
Aug 20, 2017 03:49PM
By Doug Erlien
Maple Grove celebrates Mannon McManon's first goal.
In his 16 years as Head Coach, Ben LeVahn has watched the Maple Grove girls soccer program grow.
Last season, the Crimson finished with a 13-3-3 record and were seven minutes away from making their first trip to the state tournament. They led Centennial 2-1 with seven minutes left in the game, only to watch as the Cougars won the game in overtime. Centennial would go on to win the state championship, leaving the Crimson to wonder what might have been.
“When we tell you that you are a championship caliber team, we mean it,” Head Coach Ben LeVahn said. “That doesn’t mean we would have necessarily did what Centennial did, but it’s definitely the capability we had with that team.”
With much of the offensive firepower returning, Maple Grove looks forward during the 2017 season. Led by senior Meredith Haakenson, who was one of 27 players nationally to be named to the USA Today’s All-USA Pre-Season team, her 15 goals and 13 assists led the way for the Crimson a season ago and helped earn her the Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year honor.
“We’ve talked about our goals and we want a state championship,” Haakenson said. “With the work ethic that we’ve put in and are putting in right now, I think that’s definitely visible, it’s in our future if we work hard for it.”
It isn’t just Haakenson who will provide the offensive firepower. Juniors Mia Omar and Mannon McManon combined for 15 goals last season. With the Crimson’s ability to control the ball and pressure opposing defenses, LeVahn feels his offense will be the key to success.
“We’re going to set it up where we can hang on to the ball and move it around,” LeVahn said. “Our kids that were our big impact players on offense are back this year and we’re hoping that the people coming in and filling those new roles, right now we’re not putting too much weight on them. We’re saying, you do what you can do and let the other kids that have done it do their stuff.”
The 2017 Season:
Thursday, Aug. 24- vs. Champlin Park - 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 26- vs. Eden Prairie - 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 29- @ Osseo - 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 5- vs. Blaine - 7 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 7- @ Irondale - 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 9 - Spring Lake Park - 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 12- Centennial - 7 P.M.
Thursday, Sept. 14- @ Park Center - 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16- @ Washburn - 6 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 18- @ Armstrong - 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 23- Anoka - 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 26- Elk River - 7 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 28- @ Totino-Grace - 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 30- @ STMA - 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 3 - @ Coon Rapids - 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 5 - Andover - 5 p.m.
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