September 14, 2006 at 8:37 a.m.

Wildcat offense stalls in three games

Wildcat offense stalls in three games
Wildcat offense stalls in three games

Totino Grace 9, CL 0

The Wildcats were never really in the game against Totino Grace. The highly-ranked Eagles scored five goals in the first half and four more in the second half as they rolled over the Wildcats 9-0 Tuesday, September 5 at Totino Grace.

“Totino showed why they’re ranked number three in the state, said Wildcat head coach Brett Kjos. “They’re fast and highly skilled – just a great team. Our goalie, Kristy Verhey, played really well. She had 29 saves. I don’t see how anybody could have stopped a lot of the goals – there were shots in the corners and others that were just perfectly placed balls.”

St. Francis 1, Chisago Lakes 0

After a defensive struggle, the St. Francis Fighting Saints scored the only goal of the game with 20 minutes remaining and held on to beat the Wildcats 1-0 Thursday, September 7 at Chisago.

The Wildcats cleared the ball from out in front of the net to a Fighting Saint defender about 30 yards out. She immediately lofted the ball towards the net. Wildcat goalie Kristi Verhey jumped and just missed the ball as it dropped between her outstretched fingers and the crossbar to put the Saints up 1-0.

“We had our chances,” said Wildcat head coach Brett Kjos, “but we just couldn’t get a lot of shots on net. Our best chance came when Tara Wilson put a beautiful crossing pass across the goal area. Courtney Skoog got a foot on it, but directed it just wide. Our center midfielders, Kelsey Anderson and Amanda Farrell, played very, very well. It’s the best I’ve seen them work together.”

Forest Lake 1, Chisago Lakes 0

The Wildcats’ offensive struggles continued as they gave up just one goal but were kept off the scoreboard as they lost to the Forest Lake Rangers 1-0 Saturday, September 9 at home.

The Rangers’ goal came in the second half, again with about 20 minutes left in the game. A free kick from 25 yards headed for the upper corner, but Wildcat goalie Kristi Verhey punched it clear. Unfortunately, the ball went straight up in the air and came down in the box right onto the foot of a Ranger forward, who one-timed the ball past Verhey to give the Rangers the lead. The Wildcats had some scoring chances, but couldn’t put one in the net as Forest Lake hung on for the victory.

“We’re getting more and more shots on goal,” said Wildcat head coach Brett Kjos. “Now we just need to get them past the keeper. We weren’t very good in the first half of this one. We did a lot of standing around. We played a lot better in second half. We moved Lietzau up to forward again to try to generate some offense. She and Tara Wilson had some nice combination plays between ‘em, but couldn’t get the ball in the net. They worked really well together.

“Shana Meath had one of the better games I’ve seen her play. We worked on a number of things in practice on Friday, and she had some great through balls against Forest Lake. We just couldn’t get the forwards’ feet on them.

“Overall, we’re playing great defense. A lot of these teams have whipped us in the past. The low scores show how far we’ve come. Other than Totino, we’ve only given up six goals in six games. Hopefully, things will turn around this week. We’d like to develop a scorer in time for the section tournament,” the coach concluded.

The Wildcats (0-5-2 overall, 0-3-0 conference) were scheduled to play at conference opponent Fridley Tuesday, September 12 and at North Branch tonight, Thursday, September 14, at 7 p.m. The Wildcats host St. Paul Johnson this Saturday, September 16 at 1 p.m., and St. Croix Lutheran Monday, September 18 at 7 p.m. All home games are played at the Chisago Lakes High School football field.


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