Going out on top, with a loss?
If you talk to Hastings girls soccer coach Joanne Teigland for a few minutes this week, you'll be left with the impression that the Hastings girls soccer season couldn't have gone any better than it did.
She talks about teamwork, about positivity, about the leaders on her team, about the character of the girls. She talks about how fun the season was.
You'd never know the team finished its season Tuesday with a 5-0 loss and that their record for the season was 1-12-1.
"In my 19 years of coaching, I've had one other team like this," Teigland said. "It has been so long since I've had a team that was comparable to this. Seriously, you'd never know we were 1-12-1. If you were on our team, you'd think we just won the state championship.
"I never had to tell the girls to go harder. I never had to tell them to work hard. They had fun working hard. That's like a dream come true for a coach. You would never guess we only had one win and one tie."
Hastings' season ended Tuesday night during the section tournament in Eagan with a 5-0 loss to the No. 1-seeded Wildcats. Eagan is also the No. 5 ranked team in the state.
"During the pregame, I totally lost it," Teigland said. "I didn't want it to be our last game. The girls just worked so hard."
Eagan scored three goals in the first half and two in the second.
Courtney Boucher was in goal for Hastings. It wasn't how she had planned to spend her senior year, as she had been a strong player on the field for the Raiders for years. The team, though, needed a goalie and Boucher stepped in.
With about 17 minutes to play, Teigland pulled Boucher from the net and surprised her by sending her out on the field to be with her teammates.
On the bus ride home, the team continued its tradition of gathering in the back of the bus to share positive feedback with one another. They invited Teigland to the back of the bus and told her to bring her Kleenex with.
Boucher thanked Teigland and said she'd never forget the season. Teigland responded by telling the players that it was them who made the season such a fun and positive one.
"They made the most of it," she said.
Next season appears rather bright for the Raiders, who will lose just three players to graduation. McKensie Hollar will graduate, as will senior captains Boucher and Katherine Moldenhauer.
"Those captains, they were top notch," Teigland said. "You can't beat people like that."
Teigland hopes next year's team picks up right where this year's left off.
"I just hope next year that the work ethic they had this year continues," she said. "I hope we can continue this positive streak and maybe get some more wins with it. They have to see that their hard work will pay off."
Hastings lost to White Bear Lake on Thursday, 1-0.
The Raiders had a rough first half, allowing the White Bear goal, before playing a much stronger second half, Teigland said.
"Our second half, we really played hard," she said. "They just went to the ball harder in the second half. They played harder. They played like they played the entire year."
Teigland said Jackie Sorenson and Hanna Norman each had very strong games for the Raiders.
Courtney Boucher made a number of good saves in goal for the Raiders, too, Teigland said.
The one win on the season for Hastings was certainly a big one. It came over Park a few weeks ago, and it has been a decade since Hastings was able to beat its rivals up Highway 61.
"It hasn't been very often that we've beaten them," Teigland said. "To beat them was pretty exciting. Everybody played so well. They came ready to play, mentally and physically. We just kind of stepped it up and Park got frustrated. We got under their skin, and we just played better."
Katherine Moldenhauer had the game-winning goal for Hastings.
"It was awesome," Teigland said. "She had just a really hard shot into the upper right-hand corner."
Jenna Sorenson had the first Hastings goal, assisted by Moldenhauer.