Woodbury girls are still the One
In the toughest week of the season thus far for the Woodbury girls soccer team, the squad came out spotless and still ranked No. 1 after single-goal victories over fellow-top ten rankees from Stillwater and Edina.
"We're playing well and really starting to progress," assistant coach Omar Salas said. "The girls are gelling and building momentum."
Stillwater, formerly little more than a speed bump in the WHS schedule, came into Royals Stadium undefeated -- and nearly left the same way -- on a balmy Thursday night, Sept. 10.
The Ponies gummed up the defensive end in a way that would have made Woodbury proud, if they weren't so frustrated, and held off the hosts until midway through the second half when midfielder Maddie Nelson fired home what proved to be the only goal in a 1-0 Woodbury victory.
"That was a big goal for us," Salas said. "Stillwater proved to be a very challenging squad."
The challenge got even greater two nights later as Woodbury traveled to take on what many believe to be the top challenger to their crown this season: Edina.
The Hornets also entered the game unbeaten and counted a 6-0 win over No. 8-ranked Rochester Century among their half-dozen triumphs.
However, Woodbury would prevail by the smallest of margins yet again as attacker Aly DuVal stuck home a corner kick volley from defender Kassey Kallman midway through the opening half to give the Royals a would-be final lead of 1-0.
The victory took some of the sting out of the loss of 2008 Gatorade State Player of the Year Caitie Sessions, who went down with an ankle sprain early and did not return.
"Others stepped up in Caitie's absence," Salas said. "There was a lot of energy on the team, Edina played with a lot of energy as well."
While Sessions was also out for a 6-1 rout of visiting Northfield on Monday, Sept. 14, she is expected back soon.
Without the senior attacker, the Royals still managed to log their highest scoring output of the season against the southern visitors as Emily Moris scored twice, with fellow midfielders Caitlin Graboski, Emily Erickson, Kristin Maynard and the attacker DuVal all tallying one goal apiece.
It's now 30-game undefeated string still intact, Woodbury travels to Cottage Grove for what is likely to be their lone game against their District 833 rivals on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
The Wolfpack were 5-1-1 on the season through last weekend.