Girls soccer: Gutierrez, Trojans do what they can to move team forward

WORTHINGTON -- Keyri Gutierrez thought she was finished playing goalie. A senior on Worthington's girls soccer team, Gutierrez had moved out from the net to midfield. But when injuries took their toll on the Trojans, she was there to fill the voi...

Trojans Girls Soccer vs St. Peter web.jpg
Trojans girls soccer head coach Emily Ahlquist gives last-minute instructions to the team before Tuesday's match with the St. Peter Saints. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- Keyri Gutierrez thought she was finished playing goalie.

A senior on Worthington’s girls soccer team, Gutierrez had moved out from the net to midfield.

But when injuries took their toll on the Trojans, she was there to fill the void.

“Our starting goalie got injured, and then when she got hurt the one game, I was like, ‘They are going to need a goalie,’” Gutierrez said. “I told (head coach Emily Ahlquist) I’d be down to play. After that, the St. Peter game when we went over there she decided I was going to play. I was like, you know what, it’s my last year, let’s do it.”

It’s worked out well for the Trojans.


Gutierrez helped her team to a pair of wins this year -- both by shutout -- and made 17 saves in Tuesday’s game against St. Peter in the Saints’ 5-0 victory.

“The last couple of years, she didn’t want to play goalie anymore, she wanted to be a field player,” Ahlquist said. “I said you’ll be a field player this year, I had two goalies, so I was like you’ll be a field player. My two goalies ended up getting hurt, one was a Thursday night game and the next one was a Friday night game. She was the only person who had experience to even go in at net. She’s like, ‘I’ll go in.’ She had an amazing half of the game. She did so well, she came up to me afterward and was like, ‘Can I keep playing goalie?’ I said yes, yes you can. She has done really well, I’m confident with her in net.”

It helped that Gutierrez had previous experience. However, after years of playing goalie, she wanted to try other positions.

“I wanted to get a little taste of the inside. But then I’m like, ‘I really do kind of miss it.’ So I was like I’m going to do it that one game,” she said. “The first game, I don’t remember who we played, but it felt good when I started first. I was used to it, it was natural to me. It felt good playing with the defense again, I like that part.”

On Tuesday, the Trojans and the Saints were in a hard-fought first half. WHS had runs at the St. Peter net, but weren’t able to get a goal in. It took the visitors nearly 20 minutes to break through as Amelia Carlson scored with Ella Gilbertson assisting.

“At halftime, I said look at the scoreboard, this is how you can play all the time,” Ahlquist said. “You guys are capable of doing this. They get it in their head -- especially once they start scoring -- that we’re not as good. They are as good, they can do it. They are capable of doing it, they just need to show that confidence on the field.”

The Saints scored four second-half goals. Gilbertson scored with Carlson assisting three minutes in, before Kiki Krueger scored twice and Maddie More added a goal in the second half.

For the Trojans, Tuesday was the final regular season game for 11 seniors.


“I still feel like I’m in seventh grade,” Gutierrez said. “Getting in the field, I didn’t really think about it until after the game. Then it’s like, it’s my turn now. I’m kind of sad about it but at the same time I have big hopes for the next team in the future.”

St. Peter 1 4 -- 5Worthington 0 0 -- 0

Trojans Girls Soccer vs St. Peter 2 web.jpg
WHS girls soccer player Judy Keophimphone (7) drives upfield past St. Peter's Aly Smith Tuesday night in Worthington. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

Related Topics: GIRLS SOCCER
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at
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