Mankato East girls’ soccer looks to build off successful 2020 campaign

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 10:30 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The expectations are high for a Mankato East girls’ soccer team that only allowed six goals this past season. A number of key pieces return to the team in 2021 as the Cougars hope to make a run at a section title.

“I think we have to play really connected, possess the ball, value the ball. We can’t give it away, have as little turnovers as possible and stay true to our tactics and how we want to play as a team,” said Lizzy Vetter, Mankato East head coach.

The Cougars defense made all the difference this past season paving the way for an 8-1-4 record.

The team’s only loss came in the Section tournament after shootout, and East knows it needs to cut down on draws in order to win some hardware.

“If we can just get the goals in and then have less 0-0 results, that’ll help us win the conference hopefully,” said Julia Fischer.

What might help snapping out of some of those draws is making a dominant offense even more efficient.

The Cougars averaged almost three goals per game last year, but switching the field is a focal point for the group this preseason in hopes of opening things up in the final third and involving more players.

“Implementing the quick touches, quick passes, knowing what to do, switching fields creates a lot of opportunities,” said Daevya Gagnon.

The team’s first game of the season is Thursday against Red Wing as the Cougars try to build on last year’s success.

“My expectations for this team are just to work together, trust each other, communicate. Ultimately play our game. We know how to get things done on the field. That’s who we are as Cougars, we work together and get it done,” said Ashlyn Hering.

The Cougars first home game of the season is set for Saturday against Winona.

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