Walker-Hackensack-Akeley’s soccer team had a lot to celebrate Oct. 5 when they closed out the regular season at home against Melrose.

The Wolves not only beat Melrose 3-1, but in doing so finished the regular season with a winning record at 5-4.

It was also Senior Night, so Gabby Cairns, Erika Rand, Rilee Carlson, Mallorie Knox, Mandy Johnson and Brooke Vinkemeier were celebrated at halftime.

“It was very emotional for all us. It was our goal at the beginning of the season to have a winning record and be playing our best soccer at the end of the  season, and we are,” said Coach Marshall. “I couldn’t be prouder of how the girls have played this season.”

Cairns got the Wolves on the scoreboard about 15 minutes into the game on an assist from Ella Isaacs. A short time later Britta Rand took a pass from Maizie Anderson near midfield and went through the entire Melrose team to score for a 2-0 lead at the break.

The Wolves would score again about 10 minutes into the second half for a 3-0 lead. Rand received a pass from Ella Hopen and was taken down just outside the penalty area.

WHA had the advantage of the sun right in the keeper’s eyes, and Rand blasted a shot that went off the keeper and into the net.

Midway through the second half, Melrose grabbed the momentum on a brilliant shot Vinkemeier could not get to. Vinkemeier would not let another shot get by her as she finished with 12 saves.

Six of those shots were by the one player who scored Melrose’s lone goal, so Coach Marshall changed up his defense to blanket that player and deny her any other shots.

The Section 8A playoffs open Thursday.How the other teams finish in the section will determine if the Wolves play at home or away in the opening round.


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