New Richmond girls get six on All-MBC soccer team
The Middle Border Conference championship team from New Richmond placed six players on the 2018 All-MBC girls soccer team.
Somerset, which placed third in the MBC this spring, placed four girls on the 2018 All-MBC team. That group included senior Anna Rybacki, who was voted as the conference's Most Valuable Player.
New Richmond placed junior Amelia Feuerer and sophomores Maya Greenquist and Audrey Feuerer on the All-MBC first team. Senior Alli Preece and junior Amanda Johnson were placed on the All-MBC second team and sophomore Jhette Gabriel was an honorable mention selection.
All four of Somerset's All-MBC honorees are seniors. That's led by Rybacki and Hannah Waskosky, who were voted onto the MBC first team. Anya Swanson and Hannah Meyer were selected for the second team.
After sharing the MBC title with Hayward in 2017, the Tigers were perfect in winning the MBC championship without a loss or tie. The success of the Tigers is due to the wealth of talent the team has to fill all the positions on the field.
Amelia Feuerer was a first team selection for her work at forward. Feuerer is one of the fastest players in the conference. Her breakaway ability forced opponents to defend her cautiously. Tiger coach Tracey Boyle said Feuerer significantly improved her passing this season to make the other forwards on the team more of a scoring threat. She finished the season with 13 goals and three assists.
Greenquist was the Tigers' leading scorer with 16 goals and she shared the team lead with 10 assists. The coaches showed great trust in Greenquist, using her wherever there was the biggest need in each game. Boyle praised her "soccer smarts," which gave the coaches the freedom to use her anywhere on the field.
Audrey Feuerer became the Tigers' go-to defender this season. Tough is the best word to describe her game.
"I think she's by far the best defender in the conference," Boyle said.
Preece overcame two major knee injuries to return to the Tiger lineup for her senior season. Boyle said Preece was the coaches' "eyes on the field," with her ability to recognize what opponents were trying to do from her midfield position.
Johnson was another of the Tigers whose trademark was toughness. Her work in the midfield made it difficult for opponents to quickly transition from defense to offense. She also supplied eight goals and three assists this season.
Gabriel's strong leg led to her taking all the team's corner kicks this season. She finished the season with five goals and tied for the team lead with 10 assists.
The Spartans climbed up to third place in the MBC standings this season, with an incredible senior class leading the way.
The class starts with Rybacki, who led the conference with 32 goals scored. She also ranked second on the team with 17 assists as the Spartans rolled up a 13-5-2 record this season. She accomplished those numbers despite facing extra defensive attention in nearly every game.
"A lot of the goals she didn't score were the direct result of plays Anna made," said Somerset coach Bill Roll in explaining Rybacki's importance in the team's attack. She willingly shared the ball to set up opponent's goals and she drew a number of penalties that set up short-range penalty kicks.
Waskosky possesses the strength that made her a scoring threat where few girls would be. She had 10 goals this season and only one came inside the 18-yard box. Roll said the Spartans often ran plays to give Waskosky a shot from the 35-40 yard distance.
"She was a great leader, a good physical player in the middle of the field," Roll said.
Swanson led the Spartans with 18 assists and she supplied six goals as Rybacki's forward partner. They've been playing together since youth ball and their speed and drive made them a highly successful offensive pairing.
"Anya and Anna had great chemistry," Roll said.
Meyer was a key component in Somerset's defensive success this season. She has incredible speed and such a competitive nature that she rarely was beaten in a one-on-one situation. She dealt with injuries much of the season, including a bad ankle over the second half of the season.