RED WING — It's a good time to be part of Red Wing's soccer programs. Three days after the Wingers' boys team won their first conference game in two years, the girls team made another conference milestone. For the first time since joining the Big Nine, Red Wing has won three conference games.
Red Wing's last loss came Sept. 1. During this more than two-week span, the Wingers have won three games and tied once. The latest coming Tuesday with a 2-1 win over Rochester John Marshall.
When asked about the team's current run of success, Red Wing head girls' soccer coach Taylor Backer said, "Yeah, I guess I didn’t think about that. It’s really a testament to the attitudes that we have around here. It is really a team process."
To expand on this recent run of success, the team will need to continue its at times dominant ball possession and passing. Against JM on Tuesday, the Wingers were consistently able to push the ball upfield with passes and timely through balls.
“We finally decided to connect through the middle, through the back to the middle to the forwards, and it spaces us out really well,” Red Wing midfielder and senior captain Sydney Rahn said. “We are finally seeing how that progresses us forward to score goals versus how we were with the kick and run which didn’t work out with teams with fast defenders.”
The Wingers used those tactics to their advantage early with two goals in the opening 10 minutes of the first half. Kayla Radtke found the back of the net first for Red Wing, followed by Sammi Chandler a few minutes later.
Red Wing controlled tempo and ball possession throughout the first half upholding a 2-0 lead. JM made a push early in the second half with a goal to cut the Wingers’ lead in half, however.
By the end of the game Red Wing had 17 shots on goal, compared to JM’s five.
“Like Syd said, we’ve really been focusing on connecting passes through our midfield,” Becker said. “It might be playing a ball through the forwards that we run onto to finish but everything before that was three, four, five passes behind that — which is not something we’ve always seen in the past.”
Becker also highlighted the play of goalkeeper Tori Senty.
Senty made five saves on six shots against JM. Throughout the past five games, she’s only allowed four goals past her, while also taking the lead on directing traffic.
“Tori is just one of those that’s just back there and doing her thing, she’s just engaged all the time,” Becker said. “It’s nice to have somebody back there to just take care of it.”
Red Wing, 3-2-1 and in a tie for third place in the conference, travels to undefeated Mankato East on Friday and then hosts Northfield on Tuesday.