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Green Wave are winning with style

If East Grand Forks Senior High's winning streak in girls soccer isn't enough to build momentum for the postseason, the way the Green Wave have won should be.

If East Grand Forks Senior High's winning streak in girls soccer isn't enough to build momentum for the postseason, the way the Green Wave have won should be.

Since Senior High tied Crookston 2-2 on Sept. 9, the Green Wave have won nine consecutive matches, including three last-minute wins over Class AA opponents.

Senior High, a Class A school, defeated Moorhead twice and Bemidji once. All three wins came late in the second half.

"Offensively, we have kids making big plays," Senior High coach Jessica Krog said. "They just never give up. They have a will to win."

The most exciting finish came in Senior High's 3-2 win over Moorhead. The Green Wave trailed 2-1 with less than two minutes left. But Jaclyn Scanlan tied it at 2 with 90 seconds left. Then, as the match faced the possibility of overtime, Jenna Woinarowicz passed to Francie Piche for a goal with two seconds remaining.


With a 4-0 win over Bemidji last week, Senior High locked up a conference title. With wins over Fergus Falls Hillcrest and Hibbing over the weekend, Senior High solidified the top spot in the section tournament, which begins Thursday.

Senior High ended the regular season 12-3-1.

"We're a young team and it took them a ways into the season to adjust," Krog said. "Everyone has really responded. They've gotten better every game."

Before the games against Hibbing and Hillcrest, Scanlan, a sophomore, led the team with 15 goals and 13 assists. Piche, a junior, has 14 goals and three assists; sophomore Leah Jensen has seven goals and four assists and senior Chelsea Morin has four goals and six assists.

Senior High's defense is paced by Becca Aker, Alicia Erickson, Tricia Lewis and Hannah Straw.

Many Senior High players were on last year's team that lost in the section championship game against Sartell in St. Cloud, Minn.

That loss has been motivation for this year's Green Wave.

"Half of the girls played in the section title game last year," Krog said, "and they want to get back there."


Senior High's top competition is expected to come from St. Cloud Apollo and St. Cloud Cathedral.

"Our section is so unpredictable," Krog said. "That's the X-factor this year. We feel we have a shot at this thing if we play our soccer. We like our experience factor. We like that we've been there before."

Central boys after

a 'three-peat'

Behind the running of Colin Parrish and Ronnie Kyllo, Grand Forks Central won back-to-back East Region boys cross country championships in 2006 and 2007.

Parrish and Kyllo graduated last spring, but the Knights are still hoping for a third straight title at the region meet Saturday in Fargo.

"It's going to be tough," Central coach Sean Allan said. "Both Fargo North and West Fargo are more mature teams. They have more racing experience."

The Knights have been led by Shane Harlow, Alex Torrey, Mike Torrey, Andrew Torrey, Paul Shafer and Tom Fisher.


"Fisher has come on real strong the last couple of weeks," Allan said. "We're real excited about how he's improving."

Aside from Harlow and Mike Torrey, the rest of Central's lineup ran middle school races last season.

"They need to step up," Allan said. "I think it'll be a great meet between Fargo North, West Fargo and us."

The individual favorite is Fargo North's Mach Akon.

Grand Forks Red River runners have set a goal of finishing in the top half of the region.

"We have three very strong leaders who will put us into contention for that," Red River coach Chris Douthit said.

Francis Mendee, Alex Bakken and Jake Moen have been Red River's top runners.

"Francis has been our No. 1," Douthit said. "He has continued to grow and prosper. His times are dropping, and I think we haven't seen the best of him."


GF girls teams hope

for all-region runners

The Grand Forks girls cross country teams realize they won't be in the running for the team title at the East Region meet.

But both Central and Red River expect to have multiple runners reach all-region status.

"We like to have about five or so runners to be all-conference," Central coach Sean Allan said. "We just want to race well and see what happens."

The Knights' top runners this season have been Rebecca Fee, Jaclyn Sand, Kaitlin Medal, Hannah Koch and Jessica Lindsay.

Fee has battled a leg injury recently but is expected back for the East Region meet.

"Several girls have taken a shot at the top spot," Allan said. "It's fun when they're battling between themselves. Their strength is that they run close together."


Erin McLeod, Jocelyn Fetsch, Ashley Zeitvogel, Erin Wysocki and Laura Dahlstrom have paced Red River.

"I would say a top-four finish would be good," Douthit said. "It would be nice to finish in the top half of the conference, and I would say three all-region runners isn't out of the question."

Balance leads Grand Forks swim teams

Grand Forks swimming has been known for having small teams with one standout swimmer.

This year's teams, though, feature balance.

"We have lots of fast swims," said Bryan Walls, who coaches both Grand Forks Central and Grand Forks Red River. "We usually had a super, outstanding athlete like a Hannah Whitehead. But this year, we have lots of girls on the state sheet in the top 16.

"We have lots of kids who could be swimming at the all-state level."

Central's Ali Church and Red River's Courtney Fisk and Mirna Kojic have been the most impressive.


In a Bemidji dual last week, Church won the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Kojic won the 200 individual medley.

Kojic and Fisk helped Red River win the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.

"(Church and Kojic) could compete for the 200 free at state," Walls said. "Both have an opportunity to pull that off. They also have an opportunity in the 500. And Fisk could compete in the 500, too."

Grand Forks swims Saturday in the UND Invitational, which hosted 13 teams last season.

Miller reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1121; (800) 477-6572, ext. 121; or send e-mail to tmiller@gfherald.com .

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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