Soccer: Seven Tigers, Six Spartans on All-MBC teaml
The outstanding seasons of the New Richmond and Somerset girls soccer teams paid dividends in the All-Middle Border Conference balloting. New Richmond, the 2019 MBC champion, had seven players named to the all-conference team. Somerset, which placed third this season, had six players named to the team.
The success of the Tigers led to four New Richmond players being named to the All-MBC first team. That's led by junior Maya Greenquist, who was named the conference's Most Valuable Player. Also placed on the first team were the Feuerer sisters, Amelia and Audrey, and junior Teresa Tenner. Sophomore Kacie Malone was placed on the second team, with senior Amanda Johnson and junior Jhette Gabriel being honorable mention selections.
Greenquist was the conference's leading scorer, finishing with 28 goals and 23 assists. The Tiger offense funneled through her. Tiger coach Tracey Boyle said Greenquist became more aware of her passing skills this year, helping to make the Tigers a more well rounded offense.
Amelia Feuerer, a senior, ranked second on the Tigers in scoring with 13 goals and five assists. The Tigers went to an offense with Greenquist, Feuerer and Malone working as forwards and all three grasped how important their passing and timing was to the success. That was why the Tigers were able to score 100 goals for the first time in team history.
Audrey Feuerer missed the first quarter of the season with a knee injury. When she returned, she quickly showed the skills that have her considered one of the best defenders in Western Wisconsin.
"She's our number one defender," Boyle said. "She kept us in a lot of games."
Tenner controls the tempo as the Tigers' main midfield presence. The coaches rely on Tenner in helping the team transition from defense to offense and in controlling at what pace the game will be played.
Johnson played almost everywhere for the Tigers this season. When Audrey Feuerer was injured, Johnson filled a key defensive role. She was also used in the midfield and at forward, with her versatility giving the Tigers excellent depth.
Gabriel has one of the Tigers' strongest kicking legs and takes most of the team's corner kicks. She also found a home on the team's defensive line this season.
Here are the team awards for the Tigers for 2019:
Most Valuable: Maya Greenquist and Amanda Johnson
Best Offensive Player: Amelia Feuerer
Best Defensive Player: Zoe Christensen
Spirit Award: Emily Montreal
Most Improved: Taylor Mitchell
Two Spartans were placed on the All-MBC first team: juniors Kristen Vensland and Satin Mull. Three Spartans were voted onto the second team, sophomore Taylor Paulson and freshmen Erin Huerta and Charlotte Eichten. Junior Brycen Chladek was an honorable mention choice.
Somerset coach Bill Roll has immense respect for Vensland's work on defense. She's one of the most durable players in the area, not missing a second of game time in the past 54 Spartan games. She was a key in Somerset limiting their opponents to 25 goals this season, the lowest total in team history.
"She's just a rock back there," Roll said.
Mull was Somerset's leading scorer with 23 goals and six assists. She ranked second in the conference in scoring. Roll said the transition Mull made from playing outside mid last year to becoming a forward this year was a key part of the team's offensive success.
Paulson was also part of the team's offensive success. The Spartans graduated five all-conference players last year, including all their leading scorers. Paulson scored 18 goals this year and drew raves from her coaches about the increased physicality in her play.
Huerta stepped into a key midfield role for the Spartans and finished with eight goals and 14 assists. As a freshman, she's a big part of the team's future. So is Eichten, another freshman, who had eight shutouts in goal this season.
"She's committed to be the best she can be," Roll said, saying that Eichten participated in a 22-week goalkeeper program to get ready for the season.
Chladek made huge strides as she and Vensland were the only returnees to the Spartan defense. Chladek showed the willingness to make runs up the field with the ball when the offense needed a jump start, while maintaining her high level of defensive attention.
Here are the Spartans' team awards:
Commitment Award: Liv Hoff and Charlotte Eichten
Hardest Worker: Erin Huerta and Emily Driscoll
Leadership Award: Kristen Vensland
Most Improved: Tiffany Hantsbarger, Megan Larse and Rachel Webb
Toughness Award: Tiffany Hantsbarger and Taylor Paulson
Disciplined Player Award: Taylor Paulson, Kristen Vensland, Liv Hoff, Kristine Scherz
Spartan Award: Kristen Vensland and Brycen Chladek