Over the next several months I will be covering White Bear Lake girls soccer not every week but I will be writing content on five of their biggest matches this season. If you don’t already know I am an Italian football writer. Last year I did an exclusive story on a Burnsville Superstar Maya Hansen the Burnsville forward scored 61 goals in high school and developed as one of the top players in Minnesota it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I wanted to push myself a little further this time as I will have an exclusive story on White Bear Lake star, Kayla Anderson, this winter. I will be previewing five of the games that I will be watching in person. This coming Tuesday White Bear Lake will be taking on Mahtomedi. I’m going to break down this game using all the information I have to speculate and predict what we could see on the pitch Tuesday night. It will be a non-conference battle between White Bear Lake and Mahtomedi. White Bear Lake lost the reverse fixture last season and is looking for some vengeance against a team they feel that they are capable of beating. After dropping the first game of the season they had an inspiring and routine Victory behind an Unforgettable hat-trick performance from Kayla Anderson. Make no mistake it is a real challenge that lies ahead but despite that White Bear Lake have momentum & the most dynamic player in girls soccer Will White Bear Lake defend their house against a worthy challenger? Or will Mahtomedi get the best of the Bears for the second consecutive season all that and more upcoming on Tuesday night I will be in attendance as two powerhouses throw down we shall see what will unfold with everything on the line.
White Bear Lake
White Bear Lake what an incredibly strong team last year despite getting fourth in the conference they only lost four games. This is a team that was largely driven by the quality of White Bear Lake’s versatile superstar Kayla Anderson. The impact that she had on this team is clear. It was by all accounts a breakout season. White Bear Lake has a lot of talented and highly skilled individuals. However, Kayla Anderson was the engine of the team. The skills and resources she has are second to none a complete all-around player is what comes across on film. Incredibly tough quick and versatile which made her mutually unplayable during a lot of games. I’ve spent the last few weeks watching all her games that were available to me on YouTube a sensational Talent. She can score and possesses an exquisite vision. Its large portion of why she was able to operate at such a high cliff last year. Last season she had double-digit goals and assists a large part of why South Dakota State ultimately wanted her at their program. 21 goals and 14 assists in such a short season is truly astonishing. Her playoff game against Central was special she took over the game early and made the Central defense pay for it. The opening goal of that game was absolutely astounding. This season so far she’s been just as productive and collectively as a team. The White Bear Lake Captain believes in the team that is around her that they can accomplish something truly special this season. They still have the capabilities of doing that but things didn’t get off to the best start. Despite this playing an excellent performance White Bear Lake’s dropped the opener in A 3-1 loss to Centennial. The score may not have reflected the game itself it was a tough matchup and in the end, White Bear Lake didn’t have enough to withstand the quality. Even so, Kayla started her season off the right way scoring a brace to keep White Bear Lake in the game, unfortunately, Centennial pulled away in the second half but despite the result, White Bear Lake felt positive about the performance just needed to work on a few things to get their season back on track. They went on the road to face Eastview to try to regain confidence and grab momentum before a crucial match this week. It was truly the Kayla Anderson show and unfortunately for Eastview, they were on the receiving end of it. Kayla started her afternoon with a give and go on the attack supplying a touch over the defense before placing it into the corner perfectly executing the attack giving White Bear the lead. Her second of the night arguably was her best goal in the match. Coming from a long throw-in she used skill moves to create separation before striking the ball on the Volley. It takes an exceptional level of intelligence and anticipation to pull it off she was in the zone today. Then early in the second half, Kayla took advantage of a loose ball putting it into the back of the net completing a very impressive hat trick. Unfortunately, she hurt her ankle in the second half and had to come off. However, she told me she intends to play and be at full-strength on Tuesday night for the big clash.
There’s no question Mahtomedi on paper should be favored in this game. They have won the state championship in back-to-back seasons. They may not have the superstar that White bear has but this team knows how to win and has that experience of doing what they’ve done in the past. They finished second in their conference which included a win against White Bear Lake. They finished with a record of 9-5-1 only trailed Hill-Murray in the Metro East Division for the division title. That did not matter though in the playoffs they took advantage of every opportunity that was put in front of them. They annihilated st.croix 6-0 in the quarterfinals. In the semi-finals, they destroyed Saint Angs 9-0 and then in the final they got the last laugh on Hill-Murray in what was a 3-2 victory that sent them to the state tournament. They continued to dominate with another big route beating Bemidji 6-0 setting up a semi-final date with the Academy of Holy Angels. It was a tightly contested match but they prevailed in a 2-1 Victory sending them to the title game in the state championship. In the final against Orono, they won a tough battle in a 1-0 victory to claim the State title for the second time. A good portion of that team graduated based on the way they started the season last year and this year there is some deterioration to a certain respect. They have won their opening two games of the season 2-0 against Rochester Mayo and Rochester Century two teams they annihilated to start the year last year. Even though they are state champions they have yet to be challenged something that they will face Tuesday night.
Even though Mahtomedi is the two-time defending state champions they will have a handful of trying to handle the incredibly Dynamic White Bear Superstar Kayla Anderson. She already has four goals this season which is right up there at the top of girls soccer so far this season. These teams know each other very well having played last season. This is a grudge match that the White Bear Lake girls have been waiting for. Even though Mahtomedi won the state championship last year it was a very tightly contested 2-0 game. It’s been a season since these teams last played each other but the players in the White Bear Lake locker room have not forgotten. There will be some extra motivation coming from Kayla Anderson and her team when they host them on Tuesday night. There is mutual respect between the teams but fear or concern doesn’t seem to enter the mind, Kayla Anderson. When I asked her about what her concerns are ahead of this match she made it clear to me that she isn’t concerned. She mentioned that they have some talented forwards but has full belief in her defense and how they operate in their 4-3-3 formation. They belief they have what it takes to stop whatever Mahtomedi will throw at them. She reiterated to me that the team came really well together in their win today she feels her team will be ready for the challenge that lies ahead of them. Mahtomedi might be two-time defending state champions on a big night like This with two teams eager to rip the other apart championships mean nothing. Mahtomedi might have a higher Prestige which is why everything is on the line. The reputation as a contender can be demolished with a loss to White Bear Lake. The importance of this game couldn’t be any more clear the story writes itself. White Bear Lake wants to get revenge and they have a good chance to get it. Kayla Anderson rolled her ankle in the second half of tonight’s game but she should be ready to bring Terror on the Mahtomedi defense. As I mentioned she is the complete footballer she has a very particular set of skills she’s a hard-working player and has a terrifying competitive nature. She will be incredibly difficult to stop especially because she’s on such a good when she has the potential to rip this team apart single-handedly with great teammates and pieces around her they could be a big problem. That’s not to say Mahtomedi does not have players that can cause a similar type of mayhem on White Bear Lake. However, the White Bear Lake girls are more and then prepared for the strikers that Mahtomedi has. At this moment the reputation means nothing White Bear Lake understand the importance of this match dropping another game will be costly at this stage of the season losing two out of your first three could have drastic ramifications for what we could be looking at playoff time. The high school season is a shorter season every game counts and a game like this has major importance not only because of the Rivalry but what it could mean down the line the remainder of this season. White Bear Lake is at home which is why they have the ultimate advantage if the crowd can create a great attitude and atmosphere it could potentially cause Mahtomedi to be on edge. Which will add more pressure on them. White Bear Lake are the underdogs they have everything to play for while Mahtomedi has everything to lose. The question that has real importance is this can they stop Kayla Anderson I’m not sure they can. She is more dangerous not only scoring but facilitating and impacting the game not to mention she has a great cohesive unit with a strong team behind her. If Mahtomedi can counter what Kayla and White Bear Lake can do maybe they have a chance. However ultimately Kayla Anderson and her team are well prepared and ready for the challenge. The competitiveness of not only Kayla but her team will be too much to overcome and with the pressure on under the lights on Tuesday night they will pull off the upset and beat the state champions.
Pictures By: Karen McCullough