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New Life Academy girls soccer: Eagles have season to remember; win MCAA conference titles

The New Life Academy girls soccer team finished the regular season 14-0-2 while winning the MCAA regular season conference title and MCAA conference tournament title Sunday.

The New Life Academy varsity girls soccer team put the finishing touches on a very special regular season last week.

A week after winning the MCAA regular season conference title, the Eagles captured the MCAA conference tournament title Sunday. It was a total team effort defensively anchored by senior Sarah Stacey.

"She kept our defense together through several surges from the other team" NLA head coach Lynn Atkinson said.

It has been a very special year for the Eagles. After graduating just two seniors off of last year's team, there were high hopes for the season. "The girls came into camp in August ready to work and were focused on getting back to the section finals," Atkinson said. "With addition of several new players, and returning players, it was exciting to see how they came together."

Returning starter Chloe Westlund has again had a strong season. Westlund scored four of the six Eagles' goals over the course of the weekend to seal the titles for NLA. The addition of Maddie Sosa has also had the Eagles soaring on offense. Maddie finished the regular season with 21 goals.

However, it has been a complete commitment to hard work and a passion for the game that has made this team successful, according to Atkinson.

Returning players such as Tori Rogness, Carolyn Stacey, Reagan Rice, Stephanie Pohl, Natalia Lee, Tatiana Lee, Asilin Kavanaugh, Bre Cathey have all contributed. Goalkeeper Thersea Baranik has had a wonderful year. In her second full year as goal keeper she continues to make big save after big for the team.

"Every player on the team plays a very important role," Atkinson said.

The Eagles finished the season with a 14-0-2 record. With the regular season now behind them the team looks ahead to the section playoffs - where it lost 1-0 in overtime to South St. Paul in the finals a year ago.

When reflecting on the season coach Atkinson said, "it will not be the record I remember about this team, but the heart and love for the game of soccer."