Unranked Edina enjoys patience in women’s football, and it’s worth the wait
Edina coach Katie Aafedt has been preaching patience to her inexperienced women’s soccer team throughout the season. It paid off.
The Hornets played their best football of the season in the Class 3A, Division 2 tournament, eliminating Minnetonka 3-0 in fourth place for the championship. They beat number 9 Chanhassen 6-0 in the semi-finals.
State tournament seeding is scheduled for Saturday and the quarter-finals can begin as early as Tuesday.
The Hornets (14-4-1) qualified against all odds. They were not ranked in the Minnesota State High School Football Coaches Association. final poll.
“Minnetonka is a really good team, and we knew we had to play close to a perfect game to beat them,” Aafedt said.
In their two regular season meetings, the Skippers won 3-1 and the teams tied 1-1.
A quick start helped against the Skippers in the section final. Junior midfielder Grace Pohlidal scored on a pass from schoolmate Izzy Engle after 4 minutes and 14 seconds of play. Engle scored 26 for here goal of the season 12 minutes later.
“The early goal was just the start we were looking for and needed,” Aafedt said.
“Grace’s goal gave us the momentum from the start and put us in the driver’s seat, instead of chasing a goal or two like we had in the previous two games against them.”
The Hornets were not done in the first half. Engle set up senior forward Taylor Howard’s goal at 30:27. Engle registered six goals and four assists in the three section wins.
“We had new players in a ton of different positions, and without the scoring power of our graduating class of 2021, we knew it would be a monster transition,” Aafedt said. “On the other hand, we knew we had the talent and the chemistry to make it happen, it was just going to take time.”
The Hornets are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games, outscoring their opponent 35-2 and bringing back memories of the dynamic team from a year ago. Edina went 20-1 last season but was upset Stillwater 3-2 in the state semifinals and finished third.
“We like to play the underdog role,” Aafedt said. “It’s a stark contrast to last year, but both times ended with the privilege of winning a trip to the state tournament.”
Inside the Girls Football Numbers
0.2: Average goals against per game per Rosemont women’s soccer team, best in condition. The Irish, 18-1 and ranked second in Class 3A, have conceded just two goals this season.
77:16: Time ran out, leaving less than three minutes to play, when senior Morgan Jones scored in Alexandria’s 1-0 win over East Grand Forks in the Class 2A Division 8 Women’s Soccer Championship game .