WHS GIRLS' SOCCER: Trojans open up the girls’ soccer season SaturdayWORTHINGTON — Last season, Worthington’s girls’ soccer team was less than 16 minutes away from winning its first playoff game since the 2008 season.
WORTHINGTON — Last season, Worthington’s girls’ soccer team was less than 16 minutes away from winning its first playoff game since the 2008 season.
Waseca — the last team the Trojans had defeated in a playoff game — tied the game with 15:32 remaining and netted the winner with 4:33 remaining.
WHS goalie Alivia Rowley certainly hasn’t forgotten that game.
“The last game was a sore game,” Rowley said. “We were just missing that one lucky ball we couldn’t get.”
Having only lost three seniors from last season’s squad, which finished 4-10 overall, and returning 10 players with varsity experience, there are many players with the bitter taste of the Waseca loss still lingering.
“Usually we take it one game at a time, but I think we should start thinking about sections now instead of when it comes,” senior midfielder Whitney Coriolan said. “For us seniors, this is our last year, so we’ll push ourselves that much harder and hopefully inspire other people to do.”
There is one important rookie to the Worthington squad in head coach Emily Ahlquist. Ahlquist will be making her varsity coaching debut, but she’s a seasoned veteran with the current Trojan squad, since she’s been an assistant coach for the previous four seasons.
“There are definitely nerves, but if you never try then you’ll never know,” Ahlquist said about taking over the varsity team. “Most of the girls that are starting on varsity I’ve coached since they were in eighth grade, so I’ve been with them throughout the years. It’s been fun to see how much they’ve grown in the last four years.”
Serving as an assistant coach means Ahlquist, too, felt the pain of the Waseca loss.
“We’re just going to try and do the best we can,” Ahlquist said. “We see some of the things we’ve been lacking in the last couple of years. We’ve struggled at crossing in the last couple of years and it’s one of the things we’re trying to drill into them this year.”
Although Ahlquist is in her first year of coaching varsity, she has the mentality of always thinking for the future down pat already.
“This year our whole team is pretty much seniors,” Ahlquist said. “Next year, we might be hurting a little bit.”
As for this season, the Trojans have an eye on the postseason.
“We always love seeing playoffs and going as far as we can,” Ahlquist said. “I don’t like to have expecatations other than just having them do their best and they’ll go as far as we can.”
Having many seniors on a team with a bitter taste of defeat in their mouths makes for a hungry squad.
“We are all experienced players, so we all know what’s going on,” senior defender Nikki Russell said. “It makes me want to work even harder to defeat the teams we haven’t beaten before and end on a good note.”
The Trojans host Austin Saturday to open up the season.
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy may be reached at 376-7328.