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Girls soccer: Tough competition

Hastings senior Ashley Darst, center, uses her head during last week's game in Hastings. Darst is a senior.

Over six games, the Hastings girls soccer team will have played three of the state's top seven teams. Included in those ranked teams is Woodbury, the state's No. 1 team and, as it turns out, the nation's No. 1 team.

It hasn't been easy lately, but Hastings coach Joanne Teigland has been encouraged by what she has seen.

On Thursday, Sept. 10, Hastings lost to the state's No. 7-ranked team from Mounds View. Hastings then lost to unranked teams from North St. Paul (2-1), Forest Lake (3-1) and Rosemount (4-0) before facing Woodbury Tuesday night. The Raiders lost that game, 7-0.

Things don't get any easier this week, as the Raiders play at No. 5-ranked Stillwater tonight (Thursday).

Still, there have been some great games in there, including the loss at Rosemount.

"We played extremely well," Teigland said. "Rosemount scored two goals early in the first half. We got it together from that point on.

"That was truly a good loss. I saw so many things that have come from practice. We had two really good days of practice after some hard losses. It was fun to watch. You wouldn't have known we lost when we were coming home. It was a good feeling. If we would have come out to play in the first 10 minutes, it would have been a totally different game."

Rosemount is led by Shade Pratt, who scored one of those goals early on. In the second half, Teigland tasked Katie Hovseth with shadowing Pratt, and the strategy worked. Pratt wasn't able to score again.

"Katie played phenomenally," Teigland said. "She just shut that girl down. It was so much fun to see. Katie just sucked it up and played awesome."

Hastings goalkeeper Chelsea Rich also drew praise from Teigland.

"There were some saves that she made; I don't know how she made them," Teigland said.

Hastings has a 1-6 record on the season.

Vs Forest Lake

Hastings lost to Forest Lake last Wednesday, 3-1.

The lone Hastings goal was scored by Leslue Lucking on a corner kick.

"I don't know how her shot got through traffic, but it was a hard shot," Teigland said. "You could see it zip through. It was a really nice, hard shot."

Correction, notes

In last week's story, the goal scorer in the North St. Paul game was incorrectly identified. The goal should have been credited to Nicole Hollar. It was her first varsity goal.

Following Thursday's game at Stillwater, the Raiders have four of their final five games of the season at home.

Hastings plays host to Park of Cottage Grove at 5 p.m. Sept. 29; Cretin-Derham Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1; Henry Sibley at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3; and White Bear Lake at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8.

Hastings plays at East Ridge at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6.