After an 0-4 start to the season, the Watertown-Mayer girls’ soccer team got in the win column three times last week, beating West Lutheran, Providence Academy and International School of Minnesota to improve to 3-4 on the year.
Last year, the Royals started the season with an 0-3 record before winning 10 of their final 14 games. This year, the Royals are hoping to repeat that turnaround, and last week was a good start.
Head coach Lindsey Rague said the 0-4 start wasn’t entirely surprising given the difficult of the team’s schedule, which started with games against Waconia, Delano, Brainerd and Detroit Lakes.
“As coaches, we had kind of foreseen that at the beginning of the preseason,” Rague said of the slow start. “We specifically asked for a more challenging schedule this year in an effort to continue moving forward with our program after the success we had last year.”
The biggest win last week for the Royals wa the win against Providence Academy on Thursday, Sept. 5. Last year, Providence ended the Royals’ season in the playoffs with a 6-0 win, but this time, the Royals came away with a 2-1 win at home.
The Royals trailed 1-0 at halftime, but Rague said it was fortunate for her team that it wasn’t trailing by more than that after a poor first half. However, the Royals came out and scored two goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half to pick up the win.
Allison Anderson, who stayed red hot for the Royals, scored the first goal, and Katie Heilman added the game-winner on what Rague described as “an amazing goal” on a corner kick.
Rague said it was big win for the Royals program.
“Any time you have a young team and a program that is just in the beginning phases of turning itself around, it can take awhile to convince your players that they’re ready to compete with the better programs in our section,” Rague said. “As a coaching staff, we were excited to get this win simply because it helps our athletes get that much closer to believing that we are ready to move forward and seal the deal as a program that can compete with some of the best teams in our section.”
The Royals used the momentum from their win over Providence Academy to rout International School, 10-1, on Saturday, Sept. 7. Eight different players scored goals for the Royals.
Watertown-Mayer also won it’s first game last week, a 3-1 win over West Lutheran. Anderson had the first and third goals of the game for Watertown-Mayer, and Heilman had the middle goal.
The Royals were also at Southwest Christian on Tuesday, Sept. 10, after this edition went to press, and will host Glencoe-Silver Lake at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12. The Royals will also play at St. Croix Lutheran at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]