W-M girls’ soccer team above .500 for first time ever

Watertown-Mayer’s Laila Merten sends the ball down the field during a game earlier this season.

Watertown-Mayer’s Laila Merten sends the ball down the field during a game earlier this season.

As the weather starts to cool down, the Watertown-Mayer girls’ soccer team is heating up.

The Royals won all three games last week to extend their school-record winning streak to three games overall and climb above .500 for the first time in school history. With a 2-0 win over Maranatha Christian on Tuesday, Sept. 11, a 3-0 win over Chain of Lakes on Thursday, Sept. 13, and a 3-0 win over Heritage Christian on Saturday, Sept. 15, the Royals are now 5-4.

“The girls are extremely motivated and hungry to finish this season strong,” Watertown-Mayer coach Lindsey Rague said. “It’s actually the first time in program history that the girl’s team has had a winning record, so we’re looking to turn the page and never look back.”

The week started on Sept. 11 with a game at Maranatha Christian. Miranda Boll scored the first goal for the Royals, assisted by Ellie Poikonen, and Katie Heilman added the second for Watertown-Mayer. The Royals outshot Maranatha 11-9 in the game.

The Royals were back in action Sept. 13 with a physical game against Chain of Lakes. Heilman added another goal for the Royals, and Lisa McCain added her first two goals of the season to bring the Royals back to .500 at the time after an 0-3 start.

“This was one of the most physical soccer games I have ever been apart of, both as a coach and a player,” Rague said. “Our team has never been known for our physical play, but the girls really stepped it up and went toe to toe with this team. It was a great win to be apart of because Chain of Lakes was undefeated up to this point. The girls were extremely excited and I was very proud of the effort they put in.”

The Royals closed the week with another 3-0 win, this time at Heritage Christian on Saturday. The Royals got goals from three different players — Boll, Laila Merten and McCain —  and Rague said the win was especially rewarding because the team’s 4-3-1-2 formation paid big dividends.

“We were able to get numbers up on the attack and the HCA defense couldn’t keep everyone accounted for,” Rague said. “We were able to find the open man and capitalize on the defensive breakdowns. This was the first game that I felt we truly controlled it from start to finish.”

The Royals were back in action Tuesday at Mayer Lutheran, when they were hoping to extend their winning streak to four games. Watertown-Mayer also plays on the road at 4:30 p.m. Thursday against International School of Minnesota in the team’s fifth consecutive road game. The team won’t be home again until Thursday, Sept. 27, when the Royals take on Rockford at 5 p.m.

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