Owatonna Girls Open Title Defense on Kat Kountry Tuesday
The Owatonna girls soccer team is excited to open up defense of the Big Nine championship from 2019. Funny. Their opponent can say the same thing. In fact, Rochester Century beat the Huskies 2-1 last season for Owatonna's only conference loss. However the Panthers lost to Mankato West. And OHS beat West to forge a three-way tie for the Big Nine title in 2019, the Huskies first title since 2013 and their seventh overall in girls soccer. West has won the championship three of the last four seasons.
Tuesday's match will be heard on Kat Kountry 105 FM. Air time is schedule for about 6:50 pm from Century High School. The match starts at 7 pm and can also be heard on the free downloadable Kat Kountry 105 app.
Third-year OHS coach Nate Gendron says the team has a deep desire to get a victory against Century, "The girls are really eager to play...The girls have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder about that one and they're calling it their revenge game...They want that one back. So they're excited for Tuesday."
Gendron says there's a different feel around practice with the limitations brought about by the pandemic and rules put into place by the Minnesota State High School League, "It definitely not normal preparing for the season. But now we're a couple of weeks in and it's our normal. We have to do what we have to do. And the girls have really been doing a great job."
The Huskies (11-5 overall in 2019, 10-1 in the Big Nine) graduated a number of seniors all the 2019 team, including Josie Sullivan, Erin Holzerland, Kaia Elstad, Asia Buryska, Emilee Zirngible, Samantha Fredin, Ela Breuer, Tatum Walkingstick, Karington Stanford, and Malaika Young.
All conference players back for the Huskies include Ezra Oien, Abby Vetsch, and Anna Herzog. Century (10-5-1 overall and 10-1 in conference action in 2019) brings back a pair of All Big Nine selections with Andrea Romenesko and Addison Clarey, who had 12 goals and five assists.
Century coach Karen LaDue told the Rochester Post Bulletin, "Our biggest concern is that we didn't have an off season. Physically, our girls are in shape. But we haven't yet really seen what they can do with the ball."
The OHS boys open at home Tuesday, September 1 against Century at the Lincoln Soccer Complex. Also Tuesday, OHS girls tennis plays and the girls swimmers and divers take part in a virtual meet.