The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

August 17, 2013

Soccer teams ready for kick-off

(Continued)

Senior Hannah Fox will make an impact once she gets healthy. She broke her collarbone during summer soccer and is expected to be cleared for full contact sometime this week.

Makela said the one major goal is to win the section title.

"We can't just expect to pick up where we left off last year," she said. "We need to work hard everyday to make ourselves better. It's still a one-game-at-a-time approach."

West opens the season Thursday against rival St. Peter. Game time is 7 p.m. at St. Peter.

LOYOLA BOYS: First-year coach Lee Miller believes his team is primed for a successful season as it returns every player from a year ago and has an influx of some talented seventh-graders.

Miller, a 2003 graduate of Loyola who played collegiately at St. John's, says the heart and soul of his team will be in the middle of the field. It starts at the top with striker Patrick Bush, follows with center-midfielders Will Cipos and Reilly Knutson, continues with stopper Malik Baxter and ends up with sweeper Ryan Van Blarcom.

All are juniors except Knutson and Van Blarcom, who are the team's co-captains this season. Van Blarcom has played center-mid for most of his career but is dropping back to the sweeper spot.

"He's never played there before, but he's one of our best athletes and is a great communicator and I felt we needed him there," coach Miller said. "He's sacrificing a lot because it's not really his position, but he's definitely one our strongest players."

The goalkeeping candidates are still sorting themselves out. Miller expects to name his starter right before the season-opener scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at home against Hutchinson.

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