East Ridge girls soccer: Raptors get rolling at right time
After a six-game losing streak and a 1-8-1 start, things were looking dire for the East Ridge girls soccer team. However, the Raptors are now on a roll and haven't been beaten in their last six games.
Last week, some extra work on set pieces helped lead the East Ridge girls soccer team to a 4-3 upset victory over intra-district and Suburban East Conference rival Park Thursday in Cottage Grove.
The Raptors (6-8-2, 4-5 SEC) scored three goals from set plays and held a 4-0 lead at one point before the Wolfpack (9-3-3, 4-3-2 SEC) stormed back for two goals in the second half.
Park got a goal back before the end of the first half to make it 4-1 and made a big rally to make the game interesting.
"We focus on set pieces in training because the tighter the game the more the game could be changed on those set pieces," Abboud said. "It was a great opportunity to reinforce what we're talking about with the girls."
East Ridge scored its first three goals off corners with Gia Diaz getting the first goal. Elizabeth Koprucki and Taylor Turner added goals.
"It's all about an attitude," Abboud said. "Two-foot, zero or 6-foot, it's all about an attitude to find the ball and we've taken some pride in that it's something that we're dangerous with."
That ability to convert on set pieces carried over to Saturday when the Raptors tied 1-1 with ninth-ranked South St. Paul.
Brenley Goertzen sent in a corner kick that Abby Johnson ran on to and headed home with 24 minutes to play in the first half.
The Packers came back in the second half to tie the game with a shot from 25 yards out that got past East Ridge keeper Kim Clinch.
The tie ended the regular season for the Raptors, who finished the season off with a six-match unbeaten streak. East Ridge picked up a 1-0 victory over Cretin-Derham Hall Tuesday when Koprucki connected on a free kick goal.
"Ever since we were 2-8, the mentality of the girls was that they were the best team in the section," Abboud said.
The Raptors received the sixth seed for the Section 4AA tournament and begin play against third-seeded Stillwater Thursday in Stillwater.