For the Waconia girls’ soccer team, the 2012 season was one of continued improvement for the team, as the players adjusted to a new head coach in Mike Bruggeman.
“The team did really well to keep working, keep focused on what we were trying to accomplish, be open to adjustments that we were making, and continued to improve,” Bruggeman said.
The season began with two losses at a Prior Lake invitational in late August, where the Wildcats fell to the host team and Byron. Before the summer was over, however, the team would pick up its first win of the season, a conference win nonetheless, in a 3-1 victory over Delano.
Mid-September brought the Wildcats’ longest win streak of the season, a week of conference wins over Mound-Westonka, Glencoe-Silver Lake, and Hutchinson. Most of the team’s losses during the season were to eventual conference champion Orono, Wright County Conference runner up Holy Family, and larger schools like Chanhassen and Shakopee.
The season ended Oct. 11 with a 4-2 loss to Holy Family in the second round of section play. The Wildcats had previously defeated Southwest Christian to advance.
With a 7-9-2 overall record and a 6-4-1 conference record, Waconia finished third in the WCC. Bruggeman said the team peaked as the season closed.
“Happily, I can say with confidence that we improved every week throughout the season and were playing some of our best soccer at the end of the year,” he said.
With the departure of six seniors from all areas of the field, Bruggeman said holes will be left, but he is confident in next season’s returning players.
“We’ll really be looking to this year’s junior class to step up and fill the leadership roles so well filled by the seniors this year,” he said. “With their departure comes great opportunity for our younger players in the coming year.”
The Wildcats’ will say goodbye to forwards Kayla Christensen and Kelly Luce, midfielders Elizabeth Bourgeois, Amy Parkinson, and Grace Watson, and defensive players Amber Rochat-Boeser and Elise Rogers.
The Waconia girls’ soccer program boasted depth throughout the grades as a positive at the beginning of the season, and Bruggeman said he is looking forward to younger players stepping up in the coming year.
“We improved this year from last and we look to make that a trend going forward,” he said.
At the team’s end of season banquet on Oct. 22, multiple team, coach, and league awards were given out. The captains for 2013 were named. Jacelyn Zapf and Bailey Breeggemann, who will both be seniors next season, will take over the reigns of the team from 2012 captains Elise Rogers and Grace Watson. Christensen, Luce, and Rochat-Boeser were named as All-Conference winners, while teammates Bourgeois, Rogers, and junior Emily Hilk received All-Conference Honorable Mention. Christensen and Rochat-Boeser were both nominated for the All-State award, with Christensen receiving All-State Honorable Mention. Coaches awards went to Rogers (Leadership), Watson (Legacy), Bourgeois (Abacus), and Hilk (Abacus). Team voted awards included Outstanding Attacker to Christensen, Outstanding Defender to Rochat-Boeser, and Newcomer awards to sophomore goalie Marae Vipond and freshman Jaidyn Zapf.