The only sport being played this fall at Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School is girls’ soccer, and while the Wolves have yet to win a game, Coach Jon Eclov said he’s seen improvement from his young squad.
Last week WHA fell to 0-5 with an 11-0 loss at East Grand Forks Thursday, and two days earlier were shut out 7-0 at home by Detroit Lakes.
In the road loss, the Green Wave scored just over a minute into the game and added six more for a 7-0 halftime lead.
‘They are a great team, and playing on turf was a benefit for them,” Eclov said. “We are still a very young team, but it was a good learning experience for us.”
Brooke Vinkemeier was superb in net, finishing with 24 saves.
The Wolves’ best scoring chance came from Gabby Cairns, who had a nice shot on the frame in the first half that was saved.
Detroit Lakes wins 7-0
The Wolves hosted an experienced Detroit Lakes squad Sept. 8, and were unable to generate much offense in a 7-0 loss.
“They are a high quality team with speed and a good defense. Even when we got behind them, they shut us down and only allowed a couple shots on frame,” Coach Eclov said.
The Lakers scored their first goal inside of two minutes, but it would be several minutes and many saves later by Brooke Vinkemeier before they would score again. Detroit Lakes would knock in two more goals in the half to take a 3-0 lead at the break.
Detroit Lakes would score four second half goals to put the game out of reach.
Vinkemeier would go on to finish with 17 saves on 24 shots on frame.
Eclov said Rylee Carlson also had a strong game on defense.
Erica Rand, who was absent the previous two games with an injury, was back and played well.
Wolves lost 2-1
The Wolves squandered several chances to score in the first half of their home opener in a 2-1 loss to Mesabi East Sept. 3.
With the wind at their backs, WHA missed on all their shots. Lilly Burns had three shots on frame with the goalie making a spectacular save to keep the game scoreless at the break.
Mesabi East used the wind to their advantage to score twice in the second half and was within a minute of getting a shut out when a WHA player was taken down in the penalty area.
Penalty-kick specialist Britta Rand knocked the ball by the keeper, only after it glanced off the crossbar and crossed the line.
WHA had one last chance to tie the game, and they had a chance, but the shot on goal missed and time ran out.
Coach Eclov said he was proud of the effort and for not giving up.
WHA falls 4-2
Lilly Burns and Britta Rand each scored in the second half as the Lady Wolves tied host Pelican Rapids in their game Sept. 1.
Both team played hard in the competitive game, but Pelican Rapids was able to scored twice in the first half.
“Our girls picked up their play in the second half,” noted Eclov, adding that a 2-0 score is a dangerous lead.
WHA grabbed the momentum early in the second half as Burns’ goal came on a through ball she blasted by the keeper. WHA continued to apply pressure and was rewarded with a penalty kick on a hand ball inside the penalty area.
Rand found the back of the net to tie the game with lots of time left in the game.
“We were pushing to win the game, but they were able to counter and score. We then let in a late goal,” Eclov added.
Vinkemeier once again was solid in net, finishing the night with 11 saves.
Wolves open season
Coach Eclov was extremely happy with how his team overcame a 4-0 deficit by scoring two second-half goals, but it wasn’t enough as host Crookston scored three more times for a 7-2 win Aug. 27.
“We started flat and they used their speed to get behind us to score three times in the first half,” the coach said.
WHA focused on playing better defense in the second half, but the Pirates added a fourth goal.
The Wolves didn’t pack it in as Gabby Cairns used an assist by little sister Lilly Cairns to score on a left-footed shot that curled around the keeper into the net. A short time later the elder Cairns scored again on a shot just under the crossbar that was set up by Ella Isaacs.
“We were trying to put some pressure on them, but we let in a fifth goal, and that took the stuffing out of us,” Eclov noted. Crookston added two late goals for the final margin.