Girls Soccer: Warriors adjusting to new surface

First-year Brainerd girls soccer coach Grant Gmeinder will have an opportunity that no Warrior coach before or after him has had - coach the first girls soccer game on the new Field Turf at Adamson Field.

First-year Brainerd girls soccer coach Grant Gmeinder will have an opportunity that no Warrior coach before or after him has had - coach the first girls soccer game on the new Field Turf at Adamson Field.

Gmeinder's first Warrior edition opens on the artificial surface at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, against Rogers. The Warriors have had an opportunity to practice a few times on the turf before the opener.

"The first day the girls almost seemed nervous to play on it, which is natural having not done it before," Gmeinder said. "It's almost like when they were younger and they had to stare at the ball to dribble or to pass. They couldn't have their head up and see the field.

"After about a 2-hour practice (on turf) we talked that it's different but you have to play the same. (Tuesday) in our scrimmage after that one day on it they were able to get comfortable with it already. They were seeing the field, moving the ball.



Girls soccer

  • Head coach: Grant Gmeinder, first season
  • 2013 finish: 8-2-1 CLC, 10-4-3 overall
  • Captains: Maddie Waters, Emily Trtanj, Emily Foster
  • Assistant coaches: Sara Rojas


"One of the great things about our team I think is we will pass and move well together. Playing on turf lends itself to that. You can keep the ball on the ground. You're not just trying to kick it and run after it. That will play to our team strength."

The Warriors' strength appears to be several players returning with varsity experience, including sophomore all-conference forward Ally Smith.

Here's a position by position analysis:

• Keeper

Sophomore Megan Tschida, who played some as a freshman, is the starter.

"This summer Megan played some in goal and some in the field so she came in wanting to compete for (keeper) but maybe she didn't have a full summer of experience like we would have liked but she's done a real nice job so far," Gmeinder said. "I think she will be real solid back there.


"Goalie is almost always the leader on the team. ... Megan's still developing those leadership skills but they're coming along quick. She will do a nice job."

• Defense

Emily Trtanj and Grace Sundberg return.

"Those two have shown in the preseason they're the anchors of it," Gmeinder said. "They communicate so well with each other. They're so versatile too."

Chloe Smith also played extensively in 2013.

"We have other upperclassmen with experience there and younger girls are pushing them for playing time, which is good because they're pushing each other in practice and making each other better," Gmeinder said.

He expects freshman Regan McElfresh to be one of the main defenders.

"Regan will be a big part of our defense," Gmeinder said. "We like to move her around and challenge her some but she will get a lot of playing time back there."


• Midfield/forwards

Ally Smith heads the returning experience at midfield.

"She'll be very heavily involved in our attack from wherever she's at this year," Gmeinder said. "Maddie Ellingson is the other most experienced player there, along with Angela Lacy.

"Those three will control the center of the midfield. They already communicate so well and do a nice job together. They just do things and see things that other players don't. The best compliment I can give sometimes is, 'Oh, I didn't even see that angle you just played."

Maddie Waters, Emily Foster and Hannah Johnson will play wing positions in the formation that Gmeinder wants to institute, which features three players in a triangle, one wing player on each side and a forward at the top.

"We have upperclassmen with a lot of varsity experience," he said. "We have leadership there. In that outside position, you have to be a hustler, somebody willing to do the dirty work. Sometimes they will run the full length of the field, then run the full length of the field back. To have that leadership there is a great thing."

Gmeinder said midfielders and forwards will be virtually interchangeable.

"They will be generating a lot of opportunities," he said. "Ally Smith, Ellingson, Waters and Lacy like to play in the middle of the field. They like the ball.


"Hannah Johnson and Emily Foster are willing to do the dirty work. They're willing to hustle up and down the sideline. When they have the opportunity to cut in and shoot they do a nice job of that."

• Depth

Even though a little more than 30 players are out, Gmeinder believes depth is one of the team's strengths.

"They're not necessarily all varsity starters but they have varsity experience," he said. "They've been on the field. We also have a lot of younger girls who have a lot of soccer experience, girls who have played so much soccer in their lives.

"(Assistant coach) Sara (Rojas) and I were going through the list of who's going to play here, who's going to play there, who's going to start, and there's not a lot of dropoff from our starters to our bench. They're just so interchangeable, which I think will be the strength of our team.

"It's not that we're 20 deep but we're 15 or 16 deep. Those five or six on the bench we feel comfortable with coming in and that shouldn't affect the way we play at all."

• Warriors Roster

(K-keeper, M-midfield, D-defense, F-forward)


Seniors: Emily Foster M, Maddie Waters M-F, Nashya Vesely D

Juniors: Kate Campion M, Maddie Ellingson M, Renae Ford M, Hannah Hess D, Hannah Johnson M, Angela Lacy M-F, Chloe Smith D, Kate Smith D, Grace Sundberg D, Emily Trtanj D

Sophomores: Megan Ramerth D, Mara Roberts M, Ally Smith M, Megan Tschida K, Bryn Waters M-F, Emily Christensen M

Freshmen: Elizabeth Harting M-F, Megan McElfresh D, Lexi Roby F

• Warriors schedule

Aug 22, Rogers 3 p.m.

Aug 26, Sartell 7:15 p.m.

Aug 28, at Sauk Rapids 5 p.m.


Aug 30, at Watertown-Mayer 2 p.m.

Sept 2, St. Cloud Apollo 7:15 p.m.

Sept 4, at Fergus Falls 6 p.m.

Sept 6, Moorhead noon

Sept 9, Willmar 7:15 p.m.

Sept 11, St. Cloud Tech at SCSU 7 p.m.

Sept 16, Alexandria 7:15 p.m.

Sept 18, at Sartell 7:30 p.m.

Sept 20, Bemidji 4 p.m.

Sept 23, Sauk Rapids 7:15 p.m.

Sept 25, at St. Cloud Apollo 7 p.m.

Sept 30, Fergus Falls 7:15 p.m.

Oct 2, at Willmar 5 p.m.

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