The Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls’ soccer team has had a busy couple weeks as they have played four games
Last week they fell to 0-4 on the season, losing 6-0 to Crookston Saturday, and 19-0 to unbeaten East Grand Forks two days earlier.
The Wolves have a young squad. Of the 16 players, 10 are new to the program with seven of them seventh-graders. The team captains are sophomores Gabby Cairns, Erika Rand and Brooke Vinkemeier.
Coach Jon Eclov said with a brand new team, it’s like learning on the fly. “The girls are athletic with lots of potential, but it’s going to take time. How well we play is not always indicative of the score. I’m happy with the progress we made so far.”
Saturday the Wolves hosted Crookston and fell 6-0. Ella Isaacs had the only shot on goal, but it was the defense that really stepped it up in the second half.
Crookston jumped out to a 5-0 lead at the half, but WHA played a much better second half.
Vinkemeier, who finished with 11 saves, made two tremendous stops to deny the Pirates from celebrating more in the second half.
“The coaches told the girls it’s a new game in the second half, and they really tightened up on defense,” Eclov stated.
This week the Wolves travel to Pelican Rapids, and next week are at Hillcrest Lutheran and host St. John’s Prep.
Mesabi East wins 3-1
The Wolves dominated most of the game at host Mesabi East Aug. 27, but was only able to get one goal by the keeper in a 3-1 loss.
“Tremendous job by our girls, especially being such a young team. I’m happy with how they are coming along,” Coach Eclov said.
Mesabi East scored in the first minute, but WHA took control and finished the half with about a dozen shots on goal. Cairns had five quality shots on goal, including hitting the cross bar and post.
Lily Burns got the equalizer at the 30-minute mark, and that’s how the half ended.
“We put a ton of pressure on them, but their keeper kept making saves,” Eclov said.
WHA continued to control the action in the second half, but every shot was denied. Mesabi East broke the tie on a free kick, and scored again with about two minutes to play. Vinkemeier made the initial stop on the final goal, but the defense was unable to clear the ball and they scored.
Wolves fall 19-0
Powerhouse East Grand Forks did not show any mercy for the young and inexperienced Wolves by scoring 19 times to record their fourth straight shut out.
The Green Wave, who like Bemidji are vying for the Section 8A title, currently sit at 3-0-1. Their only tie was 0-0 score at Bemidji Sept. 3.