GGF notebook: Green Wave rely on defense for title defense

Defense will be a key factor in East Grand Forks Senior High's bid to defend its Section 8A girls soccer title. The tournament begins with first-round matches Tuesday. Senior High, the No. 1 seed from the north subsection, has a first-round bye. ...

Defense will be a key factor in East Grand Forks Senior High's bid to defend its Section 8A girls soccer title.

The tournament begins with first-round matches Tuesday. Senior High, the No. 1 seed from the north subsection, has a first-round bye. The Green Wave will host a second-round match Thursday between the winner of Tuesday's first-round match between fifth-seeded Crookston and No. 4 Fergus Falls High School.

The Green Wave have been in the section championship three straight seasons, winning their first title last year. Senior High's offense is still formidable, although its average of 4.7 goals per game is down slightly from at this point last season (6.1). The Wave, however, have been stingy on defense, as they've allowed only 12 goals, no more than two in a match and registered shutouts in 10 of their 18 matches.

"We lost some girls who scored a lot of our goals last year," Wave coach Jess Krog said. "Our most experience coming back was on defense, and that's shown. Our defense has stepped up and made plays."

Chelsey Grassel returns in goal for the Wave. The veteran defenders in front of her are led by Trisha Lewis and Becca Aker. The defense has made it tough on opponents -- in a recent stretch of three straight shutout wins, Grassel had a total of one save.


"Chelsey has made some game-changing saves when we've needed it from her," Krog said. "And we've done a good job in front of her.

"And we are a team that controls the ball and is always attacking. We pride ourselves in our ability to dictate play. When you have the ball and are always attacking, you don't have to defend."

Jaclyn Scanlan (15 goals, 11 assists), Dani Pickard (13-12), Emily Swenson (13-4) and Teresa Adamson (7-5) pace an offense that has seen every player on the roster get at least one point.

"We're still getting plenty of points," Krog said. "More than four goals a game is a good number to be putting up.

"But there have been times when we haven't taken advantage of opportunities. Or we've just had crummy luck, hitting the crossbar or the pipes. And it does seem like we're seeing better goaltending against us this year."

Wave looking for consistency

East Grand Forks Senior High faces a Tuesday play-in match in the Section 8A boys soccer tournament, with the opponent and site yet to be determined.

First-year Green Wave coach Marcelo Campoverde is still looking for consistency on his team.


"We've beat some good teams, teams we probably shouldn't have beat according to our record,'' Campoverde said. "But then we've lost to some teams that we felt we should have beaten. We're still trying to learn how to win. We have to limit our breakdowns.''

Leading the offense has been Andrew Gregoire (3 goals, 5 assists), Jake Kliner (6-1) and Corey Mack (2-5), Jake Kliner (5-1) and Andrew Gregoire (3-3).

Campoverde also has incorporated a youth movement. Freshmen A.J. Albaaj, Cale Mack and Joey Scanlan all have contributed to the Wave's scoring. Second-year starting goaltender Josh Reggorah also is only a sophomore.

With 25 goals, the 6-12 Wave have produced more wins and more goals (27) than they did in last season's two-win season. But Campoverde still sees missed chances.

"We've generated scoring opportunities," Campoverde said. "We just haven't put the ball in the net the way we could have or should have."

Jones grabs favorite's role

Roseau senior Abby Ness is three-time defending singles champion in the Section 8A girls tennis tournament. The favorite's role, however, belongs to East Grand Forks Senior High's Jessamy Jones.

The 8A tournament begins Monday with dual quarterfinals. On Friday, the dual semifinals and championship will be held, with singles and doubles play on Friday and Saturday. The winning team and top two singles and doubles placers advance to state. The section tournament will be played in Grand Forks.


Ness beat Jones in the 8A singles championship last season. But Jones reversed that in the consolation championship at the state tournament, beating Ness. And the Green Wave sophomore is 4-0 against the Roseau senior this season.

"It doesn't usually work out that way," Senior High coach Jim Wyatt said of Jones' 4-0 record against the defending section champion. "I think the age difference might have been a big difference when they've played before this year. Jessamy is getting older, and her game has continued to improve.

"And after she won a couple of matches at state last year, her confidence level has gone up. Jessamy's serve is more consistent, her backhand is stronger and she's more aggressive. But the biggest thing is the confidence thing."

Jones has lost only two matches this season, both to Class AA opponents.

Wyatt said it would be "an absolute shock" if Ness and Jones didn't advance to state. In doubles, the field appears to be more wide open.

Juniors Lilly Mankie and Bethany Driscoll are the Green Wave's top doubles entrant. While they're seeded sixth, they have beaten the top-seeded team from Park Rapids, Wyatt said. "Lilly and Bethany definitely aren't the favorites, but they have a chance to get to state. The doubles field is strong. They'll have to play as well as they've played, and do it consistently."

In the dual field, Senior High, seeded fifth, meets No. 4 Thief River Falls at 9 a.m. Monday. It's a tough bracket, with the winner likely to meet two-time defending section champion Roseau in Friday's semifinals.

DeVillers reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 128; or send e-mail to .

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