Brainerd Girls Soccer Relies on Defense in 2018
“Win a conference championship, and make the state tournament,” Grant Gmeinder, Brainerd Girls Soccer Head Coach, said.
Those are the goals for the Brainerd girls soccer team, and the Warriors have been able to accomplish the first part by winning their conference each of the past four years, but that has only translated into one playoff victory which came last season. Now it’s time to build off that success.
“And we are hoping to continue that, and win some more playoff games this season,” Alexis Menghini, Brainerd Senior Defense, said. “Hopefully we make the state.”
The Warriors are returning seven starters, but not a lot of the returners are goal scorers.
“So, I think early on goals will be tough to come by, but I think by the end of the year we will be just fine,” Gmeinder said.
Relying on a senior-led defense that returns all of its starters to the back line, the trust between each other is unmatched.
“I think just having a solid defense is what is going to help us build out from the back and into the forwards,” Molly Rudolph, Brainerd Senior Goalkeeper, said. “Them trusting me and me trusting them is what is going to help us.”
The Warriors lost a pair of key goal scorers off last year’s squad, so they are hoping that this year, the defense can turn into a little bit of offense.
“I don’t think we are going to be a real high possession team against the best teams we play,” Gmeinder said. “I think we are going to be more counter attacking. So, really strong defensively and as soon as we win that ball let’s go forward really fast, as fast as we can.”
The speed will be on display tomorrow when they take on Rogers, a very tough first opponent considering they have made the section final each of the past four seasons.
“I think it’s great for us to start that way because we are going to see what we have right away, but we also know win or lose that game we are going to get better,” Gmeinder said.
It should be another solid season for Gameinder and the Warriors, and the team is just excited to get out on the turf.
Kickoff against Rogers is set for 3 p.m. tomorrow at Brainerd High School.