The Free Press
The Mankato Free Press
MANKATO — Mankato East senior Emily Stengel has received top honors from the Mankato United Soccer Club for her contributions to the sport.
The MUSC has named Stengel this year's winner of the Lon and Regina Smith award. The award is bestowed to a senior girl who has best represented the soccer community during the course of her career.
In order to be eligible for the award, seniors must have a high grade-point average, no high school league infractions, have shown good sportsmanship, have shown a commitment to Mankato soccer and have demonstrated leadership on the field.
Stengel has been playing soccer for the past six years, mostly as a midfielder/stopper. She was named East's Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and was an honorable mention All-Big Nine Conference this season.
She has also been a referee for the past three years. Her other high school activities and accomplishments include participating in both golf and basketball; being a member of Link Crew, PLC and Student Council; receiving the Spotlight on Scholarship and Distinguished Academic Achievement Awards; being a member of the East honor roll the last four years.
Stengel also helps out in the community, taking part in Spring Lake Park Clean-up, Kids against Hunger, volunteering for the Mankato Youth Baseball Association, helping with the Caring and Sharing Child Care Association and is involved with TopSoccer.
Stengel has also been named to this year's All-City Soccer squad. The following, in alphabetical order, are thumbnail sketches of this year's other All-City selections.
Aisha Abdo: A junior at Mankato West, Abdo has played soccer at the high school level for the past five seasons. The forward/midfielder has West's all-time assist record with 13. Her most noteworthy accomplishments on the pitch were qualifying for state this fall, scoring four goals in a game in the 2012 section tournament and having a two-goal game against Mankato East this fall.
Aunikah Bastian: The Mankato Loyola senior is a six-year high school player who has played mostly midfield but has also been a defender and striker. This is her fourth straight berth on the all-city team. She is a two-time team MVP and was named Loyola's hardest worker.
Madison Burandt: The senior at Mankato West holds a number of records. A midfielder/attacker, Burandt holds the school record for points in a season (37), points in a career (100) and goals in a season (31). She was All-State honorable mention in 2012, first team All-State this fall, has been all-city the past three years and is a two-time All-Big Nine selection.
Sarah Buryska: The five-year player at West just complete her junior season. She has played forward, midfield and defense for the Scarlets. She helped her MUSC U-16 team reached the championship game of the Schwans Cup this past summer.
Caitlin Clause: A senior at East, Clause was in the varsity program for six years. She played defender, sweeper and stopper and was both All-Big Nine and all-city the past two seasons. Clause was also named East's Defender of the Year as a freshman and sophomore.
Alia Coughlan: The six-year high school player just completed her senior season at Loyola. A defender, Coughlan is a four-time all-city choice, won the Crusader Award in 2011 and won the team's Leadership Award in 2012. Coughlan was a three-year captain.
Hannah Fox: A two-time all-city selection, Fox is a senior at West. The six-year player was used mostly as forward but also did some goaltending. She was All-Big Nine honorable mention in 2012 and helped this year's team reach the third-place game of the Class A state tournament.
Emily Gaspar: A Loyola junior, Gaspar is a four-time all-city selection. The midfielder/forward has played with the Crusaders for five years. Gaspar was a team captain for the Crusaders in 2013.
Danielle Joyal: The junior midfielder for East just completed her fifth year of high school soccer. This is her second-straight year on the all-city team and was honorable mention All-Big Nine in 2011. Joyal had a hat trick against Winona in 2011 and scored her first varsity goal against West.
Rebekah Kolstad: The East junior has played everywhere from midfielder to attacker to defender. A five-year player, Kolstad is a three-time all-city winner and was named East's Rookie of the Year as a seventh-grader. She was All-Big Nine and all-state honorable mention this past season.
Katie Lauer: A senior goalie at West, Lauer has played five years at the varsity level. She owns the West school record with 21 career shutouts. She appeared in two state tournaments and plans to continue her soccer career in college.
Lizzy Ninneman: A defender for Loyola, Ninneman just completed her third year of varsity soccer. The junior played for a state championship Mankato United Soccer Club team. She helped the Crusaders play Albert Lea to a tie in this year's section tournament before losing in a shootout.
McKenna Peters: A senior at West, Peters has played both midfielder and defender for the Scarlets. The six-year player is on the all-city team for the second-straight year and was a Big Nine honorable mention pick in 2012. Peters was on this year's fourth-place state tournament team.
Emily Stengel: The fifth-year player at East was both a midfielder and stopper. The junior was honorable mention All-Big Nine this fall. She is this year's Lon & Ginny Smith Award winner.
Jenny Vetter: An eighth-grader at East, Vetter has played midfielder and attacker at the varsity level. The second-year player was her team's Rookie of the Year last season and scored her first varsity goal against Faribault.
Lizzy Vetter: The five-year player is a junior at East who plays attacker and midfielder. She is a three-year all-city choice and made the 2013 All-Big Nine Conference team. Vetter scored the winning goal in overtime for the National Sports Center championship game.