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The New Life Academy girls' tennis team knew it was graduating two of its top players from last year's varsity team as it prepared for the start of fall practice. But when three other experienced players decided not to go out for the team this season, the Eagles soon realized they would not have enough players to field a full varsity team. But take a quick glance at the Eagles' record in the final weeks of the regular season, which is 6-9 heading into the week of Sept. 25, and you might not realize the challenges they have faced.
The East Ridge girls' swimming and diving team finished first in the Maroon Division of the Maroon and Gold Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. East Ridge topped the 14-team division by finishing first with 432 points. Blaine was second in the Maroon Division with 374 points. Grace Rauker led the Raptors with two second-place finishes on the day. Rauker delivered her second-place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of two minutes, one second and the 500 freestyle in 5:22.18.
All three of the District 833 cross-country teams got a chance to see where they stack up with many of the other teams from around the strate at the Milaca Mega Meet on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Stones Throw Golf Course in Milaca. The East Ridge boys' team finished 11th among Class 4A boys' teams, with Woodbury taking 13th and Park in 19th.
The East Ridge girls' tennis team improved its record to 6-0 in the Suburban East Conference with two wins in dual meets last week. The Raptors' victories included a 5-2 decision against Mounds View on Thursday, Sept. 21. Wins in the singles lineup came from Regan Dolezal at No. 1 singles (7-5, 7-5), Megan Karrow at No. 2 (6-7(5), 6-1, 6-0) and Jordyn Brown at No. 3 (6-2, 6-1). At first doubles, Julia Travis and Kailey Courteau won 6-4, 6-1. At third doubles, Anna Tokheim and Abbie Marshall also won 6-3, 6-4.
A defense’s job is usually to keep its opponent from scoring points. But East Ridge’s defense did a little bit more in a 17-16 homecoming victory for the Raptors on Friday. Ryan Kim returned an interception 84 yards to give East Ridge a 17-10 lead in the fourth quarter. And after Roseville threatened with a late touchdown, the defense stopped a two-point conversion attempt to lock down the victory.
Park girls' swimming and diving coach Amanda Johnson felt her swimmers put together their best meet of the season on Thursday, Sept. 14, against East Ridge. The Raptors won the Suburban East Conference dual meet 100-78, but aside from the score, the Wolfpack were happy with what they accomplished in the pool. "I feel like our girls have kind of stepped up in certain areas," Johnson said. "Although some of our girls swam off events today, their times were really good."
East Ridge girls' soccer player Madison Majewski announced her commitment to the Miami University women's soccer team last week. By all accounts, the RedHawks will be receiving a versatile player. Sure, the East Ridge sophomore plays as a center back defender during the club season at Minnesota Thunder Academy. But she focuses on the offensive side of the game during the high school season, splitting time between forward and midfield positions.
The East Ridge girls' swimming and diving team has made an appearance at the True Team state meet the past two years. And this year, with depth on the roster once again, the Raptors hope to make it three straight. The abundance of quality East Ridge swimmers has been no accident the past few years. With a large roster and so many swimmers joining club teams during the offseason, head coach Kathy Madden said it makes a big difference when athletes come in with a training base already built up.
The East Ridge girls' soccer team hopes its best soccer has yet to come. The Raptors made some adjustments that paid off during a four-game winning streak that was halted with a 1-0 loss to St. Peter at East Ridge High School on Saturday, Sept. 16. The winning streak included a 2-1 win at Woodbury on Sept. 12 and a 1-0 victory over Minneapolis Washburn on Sept. 13. The Woodbury win was sparked by a two-goal day from Aimee Kemper. With the win, the Raptors were able to claim the trophy that is contested by the two teams every year.
The Woodbury girls' soccer team feels it has made some progress through a 1-2 week. Coming into last week's schedule, the Royals had only scored three goals in five games played. Although it was a one-win week, Woodbury felt it generated more chances to score goals in three games this week. "We're starting to create a lot of opportunities," head coach Pat Malicki said.