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Northland soccer makes strides, led by freshman from Hudson

Bryanna Johnson

On her way to all-conference recognition, Bryanna Johnson, a 2008 graduate of Hudson, just completed her freshman season of Northland College women's soccer.

The LumberJills finished the 2008 season with a 9-8-2 overall record, and a 7-5-2 mark in conference, good for third place in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.

This is the Jills' strongest season since 2003, standing second statistically in the UMAC in goals scored and second in goals allowed. Led by a quality group, coaches said, the Jills outscored their opponents 47-25 and made big strides, shutting down the strongest teams in the conference.

On Oct. 31, the Jills held the undefeated conference champions, St. Scholastica, to a 1-0 decision. Just a few days prior, Northland College defeated the University of Minnesota-Morris, 2-1 in overtime, for the first time in school history. The Jills were able to land six players with all-conference honors, as well as the Player of the Year award.

Johnson, a defender for the Jills, started every game this season. "Bryanna was a core component as she marked up against the leader scorers from opposing teams. Her ability to tackle hard, judge the play and step to the ball helped shut down an attack before one could even commence," said Coach Ashley Grant. "Bryanna aiding in the high scoring offense by starting many plays from the back that eventually led to goals." She added three assists this season and was named to the all-conference, honorable mention team.

Bryanna Johnson is the daughter of Hal and Pat Johnson. She is studying environmental science at Northland, a four-year private, liberal arts college in Ashland. Northland competes at the NCAA Division III level.