Finding the back of the net

Fergus Falls girls’ soccer player Piper Andrews boots a ball in Tuesday morning’s practice.

The Fergus Falls girls’ soccer team enters the 2020 season with a lot of changes and a bunch of experience. While COVID-19 may have thrown a wrench into normal practices and games, the team is looking to flourish as they play 11 Central Lakes Conference games this season.

The Otters will have a strong nucleus of varsity players to take the lead on the pitch this season. Anna Anderson, Piper Andrews, Ellie Andersen, Hope Goepferd and keeper Svea Smestad will look to lead a group that has seen an influx of new talent.

“It should be an exciting season, I know the girls are ready to go.  We have the largest team we have had in the history of Otter girls’ soccer with 51 athletes joining the team,” Jurgens said.

Some of the key up-and-comers for the Otters this season will be Maddie Hulter, Vanessa Vaughn, Yana Prischmann, Megan Tosset and Talia Nelson. Jurgens also expects others to make an impact in a variety of roles.

While a new season brings about fun and exciting obstacles, this season will be particularly different as the Otters will only play conference games.

“Each night is going to be a battle but we feel the team will be up to the challenge. Our expectation of our team will be to compete hard in every game and to give ourselves an opportunity to win,” Jurgens said.

Another new aspect to the 2020 season is protocols to help with limiting the spread of COVID-19. The team has been using a variety of ways to social distance during practice and the coaching staff is taking the temperatures of the girls prior to each practice.

“We are willing to do these things if it allows us the opportunity to play,” Jurgens said.

In this unique year, Jurgens was unable to predict the top teams in the section or conference as other schools are also going through some roster changes. “We have no idea what the other teams are going to present to us but we know our size and maturity should keep us in every game we play.”

Jurgens will be assisted by Paul Hicks, Sara Delaney, Luke Johnston and Amber Hovland this season.

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