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Honors pile up for Raider soccer team, seven named to All-BRC teams

Team members include, kneeling from left, Kate Johnson, Kate Sanocki, Taylor Klatt, Emily Ryder, Megan Monette, Brooke Gottschalk, Alexa Haines, Ashley Hall and Madi Hemauer. Standing, team managers Ben Klundt, Skyler Poulios and Maddie Willi, players Lauren Berglund, Maranda Schettle, Maggie Koehler, Emily Briske, Sarah Hallen, Jordan Helterbrand, Marki Thompson, Karli Eichstadt and Karyn Chukel, assistant coach Stacey Chezik and head coach John Knutson.1 / 3
Alexa Haines2 / 3
Maggie Koehler3 / 3

After earning a share of its first Big Rivers Conference championship in 14 years, the postseason honors have begun to pile up for members of the Hudson High School girls soccer team.

Seven Raiders have been named to 2014 All-Big Rivers Conference teams, including all three of Hudson’s senior co-captains.

The All-BRC awards, as well as the Hudson team awards, were announced at the Raiders’ annual postseason banquet last Tuesday, June 24, at Kilkarney Hills Golf Course.

“Our three main goals for the year were, one, to improve the individual player's skills for the benefit of the team; two, to represent Hudson High School with honor and pride; and three, to have a lot of fun, making this season the best experience for each player,” Raider coach John Knutson said. “I think we exceeded the expectations for all three. I knew the talent coming into the year would be good; it turned out to be great.”

Hudson finished the 2014 season with a record of 11-1 in the BRC to share the conference title with Eau Claire Memorial. Overall, the Raiders finished 18-3-1 with their only losses coming against Eau Claire Memorial, which they avenged two weeks later, and twice to D.C. Everest, including the WIAA regional final to end the season.

Hudson’s junior varsity, coached by Kristen Bores, also had plenty of reasons to celebrate after posting a record of 14-1 and winning the BRC JV title for the second year in a row.

Senior co-captain Alexa Haines and junior Maggie Koehler were named to the All-BRC First team and senior co-captains Lauren Berglund and Marki Thompson, along with junior Kate Sanocki, earned spots on the Second Team. Juniors Megan Monette and Emily Ryder received Honorable Mention.

Haines and Koehler are both repeat selections to the All-BRC teams. Haines was an Honorable Mention pick in 2013 while Koehler was named to the Second Team.

In addition, Knutson was honored by his peers this year by being named the 2014 BRC Coach of the Year.

Hudson’s season-ending statistics are eye-popping. The Raiders outscored their opponents 79-29 while holding opposing teams to an average of just five shots per game.

Forwards Haines, Koehler and Sanocki accounted for over 60 percent of the Raiders’ scoring this season with Haines leading the team with 23 goals, Koehler scoring 16 and Sanocki adding 10. But Knutson said the Raider midfielders and defense was just as impressive.

“Only giving up an average of five shots on goal per game is unheard of, and that's a credit to the quality of our defenders like senior captains, Lauren Berglund and Marki Thompson, and juniors like Megan Monette, Emily Ryder, Sarah Hallen, Taylor Klatt and a host of others,” he said. “I simply cannot be more proud of a group of young ladies than the players we had this year. They really worked hard, played hard, and had a lot of fun this year.”

Thompson earned the Raiders’ team Sportsmanship Award while the Most Valuable Player Award went to Sanocki. The Hudson Raider Award, which acknowledges the player who embodies what it means to be a Hudson Raider, went to Koehler.

There was a tie for a very special team award -- the Sono Forte Award. Sono Forte, Italian for “I am strong,” was a favorite saying of former Raider Jordann Costello, who played for both John Knutson in 2011 and his daughter Allison in 2012. Costello took her own life in September, 2012, and to honor her, the Raiders adopted the Sono Forte theme for motivation.

“The Sono Forte Award was presented to Lauren Berglund and Alexa Haines for exhibiting the passion, determination and strength of Jordann Costello,” Knutson said.

This year’s Raiders lose four seniors to graduation -- Haines, Berglund, Thompson and forward Karli Eichstadt -- but Knutson is confident there are plenty of talented players waiting to step up.

“The Hudson Soccer Association collectively does a great job with their coaches and players preparing them for high school soccer, and it's a fantastic feeder program to develop the skills for the kids to compete at the varsity level in high school,” he said. “We have tremendous numbers in our youth programs and that just means we'll have more talent to choose from for our varsity squad.”

Knutson said he’s already looking forward to next year.

“There is nothing I would rather do than coach these kids,” he said. “It's just awesome!”

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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