PREP NOTEBOOK: No let-up in Wave girls' soccer offense
The graduation losses of all-state players haven't slowed down the offense of the East Grand Forks Senior High girls soccer team. The Green Wave are off to a 10-2 start, having scored 65 goals. That's slightly behind the pace of the 2009 team, wh...
The graduation losses of all-state players haven't slowed down the offense of the East Grand Forks Senior High girls soccer team.
The Green Wave are off to a 10-2 start, having scored 65 goals. That's slightly behind the pace of the 2009 team, which had 69 goals after 12 games with a pair of all-staters on the attack in Francie Piche and Jaclyn Scanlan. Minus the graduated Piche but with then-senior Scanlan back in the lineup and leading the offense, Senior High had 57 goals after 12 games last season.
"Our strength is definitely our goal scorers," Wave coach Jessica Krog said. "We returned girls like Marina Galstad, Dani Pickard, Emily Swenson -- they're seniors who have been putting the ball in the net for a long time.
"The question for us was who was going to set the scorers up. Casi Carter, who has been a phenomenal playmaker, was originally going to be a defender. Anna Hulteng has come back from an injury and done a good job. Coco Piche and Alex Arroyo have done good jobs, too. Those four midfielders are all passing and scoring."
The four midfielders share the playmaker role that Scanlan dominated last season. It's a spread-the-wealth attack, as 17 players have scored at least one goal.
Pickard and Swenson each have eight goals to lead the Wave. Marina Galstad has six goals and five players -- Madi Galstad, Erica Eades, Riley Koberinski, Tina Arroyo and Hulteng -- each have five. Coco Piche has a team-leading seven assists.
"We don't have one girl dominating our offense," Krog said. "I would think that makes it hard for defenses. We don't have one girl who opponents can say that if they shut her down they shut down the Green Wave. We have a lot of scorers."
Wheeler the favorite
If SueAnn Lund was a gambler, her money would be on JoDee Wheeler.
Wheeler will bid for her second consecutive title in the East Region girls golf meet, scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday in Fargo. The Grand Forks Red River senior has been a dominant golfer this fall, taking medalist honors in six of the eight meets in which she's participated.
"JoDee has a great shot at winning it," Lund, the Red River coach, said. "I think she's proven herself to be the favorite. She's a good, smart, experienced player.
"But we all know how golf can go, the ups, the downs, the bad bounces."
Ashley Knecht, Abby Holmen and Cali Halverson have been Red River's other top individuals.
The top seven teams, as well as individuals who finish within 15 strokes of par or the low score of the day, qualify for the state meet.
Lund said Fargo Davies is the team to beat. Red River has been a consistent top-three finisher in meets. "To be in reach of Davies, we'd have to have four solid scores," Lund said.
Grand Forks Central struggled early in the season, but the Knights have finished sixth in two of the final three regular-season meets. Katie Sigurdson and Sami Marshall have been Central's top individuals.
As far as qualifying for state as a team, "we're right on the bubble," GFC coach Tom Winger said. "Katie's best rounds of the season have been in our last few meets, and Sami has been steady. For us, it will depend on what we get from our third and fourth scorers. Our No. 4 scores have ranged from 100 to 116. If we can get that score around 100, I think we'll be sitting pretty good."
GF boys flip-flopping in polls
The Grand Forks boys teams have spent much of this season flip-flopping in the weekly North Dakota Class A coaches' cross country poll.
Central was ranked second and Red River wasn't in the top five in the initial poll. But in the three ensuing polls, it was Red River second and Central third. The Knights moved ahead of the Roughriders in each of the past two polls, being ranked second both times with Red River third last week and fifth this week.
"It's a real battle between us," Central coach Sean Allan said. "Red River has a couple of kids injured right now. But when they're healthy, it's going to be just a couple of points between us.
"We're similar in that our first through fifth runners match up well. We're probably deeper. If one of my top kids doesn't have a great day, we have kids who can move up. Red River probably doesn't have quite that luxury."
Central has two ranked individuals in Paul Shafer (fifth) and Tom Fisher (10th). Red River's Matt Tingum is ranked ninth, while Tanner Piper, who currently is injured, also has been in the top-10 rankings this season.
Greater Grand Forks will host two cross country meets next week.
The East Grand Forks Invitational is Thursday, beginning at 4:15 p.m. at Valley Golf Course. Grand Forks hosts its invitational next Saturday at Lincoln Park Golf Course, with varsity girls running at 12:40 p.m., followed by the boys varsity race.
N.D. state tennis in GF
Grand Forks Red River and Grand Forks Central will both be playing in the dual portion of the North Dakota boys tennis tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday in Grand Forks.
Red River, 11-0 and the No. 1 seed from the East Region, has won 13 consecutive state dual titles and 158 consecutive duals. Central is 8-3 and the No. 3 seed from the East Region.
Bismarck Century is the No. 1 seed from the West Region.
Team competition begins Thursday, with the championship scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday. Individual singles and doubles play follows, with championships scheduled for Saturday afternoon.