Lightning girls’ goal still the Metrodome
Soccer team believes it has talent to make up for graduation losses
Every high school soccer team starts its season outdoors, but Eastview’s girls believe they have what it takes to finish it indoors.
“We’d like to get to the dome this year,” said senior midfielder Kayla Tuthill, one of the Lightning’s captains. She was referring to the Metrodome, where the state tournament semifinals and finals take place.
Last year the Lightning was one victory short of going to Minneapolis after losing to Centennial 1-0 in the Class AA quarterfinals in Cottage Grove. It ended a 13-3-4 season; all three of Eastview’s losses were 1-0.
Eastview was one of three South Suburban Conference teams to reach the state tournament. The others, Burnsville and Lakeville North, finished second and fourth.
The conference “definitely will still be competitive,” senior midfielder and captain Melisse Chasse said. “But a lot of the teams were older last year and lost a lot of seniors. Most of the teams this year are going to use some young players.”
That includes the Lightning, whose graduation losses from last season included its top three scorers and all seven of the players who were All-South Suburban Conference or received honorable mention. But help could be on the way for Eastview. Dakota REV, a soccer club that has a number of players from Eastview High School, had an excellent summer on the girls side, including an Under-16 Premier team that finished second in the top division at the USA Cup.
“There’s a lot of talent, and in Dakota County, they start them young,” said senior Anhthu Huynh, the Lightning’s starting goalkeeper.
On Tuesday afternoon, Eastview’s girls were in their second day of tryouts. “We’ve seen players coming to practice willing to give 110 percent,” senior Taylor Heppner said. “Practice isn’t always fun, but working hard there is what gets you ready for the season.”
Another key returnee is junior forward Kellie McGahn, who scored seven goals last season.
Eastview lost only once in nine conference games last season, but four ties against league opponents dropped the Lightning to fourth place.
“But we were able to play with all the other teams,” Chasse said. “We tied (conference champion) Lakeville North and beat Burnsville.”
Now the Lightning will attempt to prove it’s the team to beat in the South Suburban. Eastview opens its season at home against Roseville at 5 p.m. Thursday. The non-conference schedule also includes a home game against defending state Class AA champion Wayzata at 1 p.m. Aug. 30. The first conference game is at home against Eagan on Sept. 4.