Score: White Bear Lake 2 Mahtomedi 1FT
Prior to the rivalry matchup that took place on Tuesday night, White Bear Lake were coming off a 4-1 victory over Eastview that was headlined by Kayla Anderson hat-trick. It was the first victory of the season for White Bear Lake as the Rivalry on Tuesday had great importance. The Rivalry between White Bear Lake and Mahtomedi is known as the battle of the lake. Both schools are located in proximity of each making this a proper Derby. Derbies and rivalries mean more than any other matches in the season. It oftentimes becomes about bragging rights and proving you are better than your noisy neighbors. It was quite a spectacle that took place Tuesday night. Mahtomedi is back-to-back state champions and got the better of White Bear Lake last season taking the bragging rights into this match. Meanwhile, White Bear Lake has won 2 of the last three against the state champions. As they certainly would looking for Revenge and they got it on Tuesday night. The match had its challenges in the early stages even playing from behind in the first half. The White Bear Lake defense failed to take their shape early in the game allowing Mahtomedi to get on the counterattack very frequently. Early in the game, Mahtomedi pulled their noses in front. Audrey Berry beat White Bear Lake keeper to the far post in what was a very simple goal as they took the 1-0 lead. White Bear Lake had a few chances but didn’t find the Rhythm to get into the game as of yet as Mahtomedi went into halftime with a 1-0 lead. However, the momentum change in the second half as White Bear Lake Superstar found her moment and took advantage of it found her moment as Kayla Anderson beat the keeper slicing the ball in the bottom corner to equalize. Throughout the second half, White Bear Lake was the better team with a Relentless attack in which they could have scored multiple times. Adjustments were made by White Bear Lake that seems to be effective. A draw in the match would have been incredibly disappointing. White Bear Lake found a way to break through at the stroke of death Kayla Anderson put the ball in the back of the net to again give to White Bear Lake the late lead to 2-1 with 4 minutes to go as they grab the three points at home. The White Bear Lake’s girls get revenge for the loss they suffered last season they have now won 3 of the last 4 meetings between the two teams as the Bears grab the bragging rights behind another inspiring performance from Kayla Anderson. They have won their last two matches they hope to keep the momentum going tomorrow as they take on Lakeville South away from home.
After predictions and preparations for the match, we got underway on a cold and windy Tuesday night in White Bear. A rival match that was surely in for a special performance. White Bear Lake had a fast start at least it appeared that way early in the match. Kayla Anderson came close on an early header. White Bear Lake pressed forward early in the match seeing some of the attacking potentials in the side but down the stretch, they left the defense a little exposed. Meanwhile, Mahtomedi was using short passing to execute opportunities. They came forward almost regularly. In the first half despite some early chances they were in full control. They were significantly winning the possession battle and they were creating often. They looked dangerous inside the White Bear Lake area as they were able to cut inside pretty regularly. The defense at times looked unorganized & out-of-sync defensively. They got into the break on several occasions in that first half. You just sort of thought they were going to break through eventually. You’d have to hold your breath every time they got the ball on the break the defense just had a difficult time coming together and adjusting the line of play. There weren’t necessarily defensive errors but there were times throughout the first half where they made risky decisions in terms of trying to get themselves out of a jam. Eventually, Mahtomedi broke through on a counter-attack despite great goalkeeping they converted Inside the Box as Mahtomedi overcoming a traffic jam as Audrey Berry got space putting into the ball into the white bear net to give Mahtomedi the 1-0 lead. It was a relatively slow start. White Bear Lake needed to grow into the game a little bit. White bear lake wasn’t completely dominated but they had the lower quantity of chances as Mahtomedi broke the deadlock after only 18 minutes had passed. After the opening goal, White Bear Lake started creative a little bit more and had some more momentum. A lack of service left them frustrated Kayla Anderson was playing really well once she got the ball she was always dangerous as she slides through Defenders with her excellent awareness and dribbling ability. On several occasions, she tried to create the opportunity so she could get into the box in dangerous areas. White Bear Lake had a few chances near the end of the first half they really had gathered momentum but failed to convert. As the first half ended with Mahtomedi on top 1-0 thanks to a strike from Audrey Berry.
Despite being down there were a lots of positives to be taken from the first half as it took them a while to grow into the game but late in the first half they started to show some promise. Kayla Anderson just needed some more service for her to be more effective. Beyond that the defenses maturity and discipline needed slight modification to allow the game to open up for them. I was especially impressed with Jasmine Blair the Freshman forward not only trying to get forward but her energy level was insane. She was a bundle of energy she fought for every single ball gave her all on every single play. You can tell based on the potential she showed in that first half that she could develop into a really great player. She may not be the most talented player but the effort she showed was incredibly impressive. I also thought Abby Fettinger the Junior left-back did really well and trying to keep the defense in shape and also was a nightmare because of her speed and her ability to take the ball off a Defender. White Bear Lake didn’t have the best half as Mahtomedi dominated but there were some positives to take from it with the capability turn the game around in the second half. That is exactly what they did I’m not sure what was said at halftime but they were a completely different team coming out of the brake. Kayla said the team had believed that they could get back into the game if they started fast. All the issues that seemed to be a big problem in the first half went away. The defense kept it shaped did a good job of trapping the attack as Mahtomedi had very few scoring chances in the second half White Bear Lake senior center backs Sam Burket was exceptional. Her leadership in the backline and making the smart plays allowed the team to get forward much more effectively. I thought she was incredibly important by the way she performed it wasn’t only that the backline as a unit performed much better when she took over that role. This allowed the attack to go forward frequently and often. The defense continues to keep their shape as the white bear attack kept going for goal. Then in the 48th minute, they got themselves back into the game as we saw the Kayla Anderson moment. Brilliantly taking the ball just outside the box using her exceptional dribbling ability getting past several Defenders into space striking the ball from the center of the box curling it into the bottom left corner to get them back into the game. Kayla Anderson this season she has scored in every single match this year a sequence like that is why she’s one of the best players in the state. White Bear Lake equalizer making a 1-1. They had all the momentum now Mahtomedi barely got any chances and White Bear Lake just kept on coming. Once they equalize you could tell they believed they could win the game. The aggressiveness of their attacks only intensified. They were playing from the back and pushing forward a very attacking style of soccer. They looked really strong in the final third as Kayla was getting service and creating her own magic with her feet. You just felt that they were going to win the game the way in the way they were dominating Mahtomedi didn’t get a sniff in the second half they spent the entire time trying to stop the aggressive attack that was being thrown at them by White Bear lake. They came close several times on a corner that just messed a scramble inside the box with a White Bear Lake attack that nearly scored after being denied by the goalie several times. However, there was just a feeling that the moment was coming to a strike from distance nearly found the back of the net. Then at the stroke of death in the 76th minutes on a counter-attack, Kayla Anderson in the Box found her footing and struck gold finding the back of the net with only four minutes to play. The White Bear Lake Bears took a 2-1 lead. Kayla Anderson displayed and Justified that she’s a big-game player as she comes in the clutch and delivers the winning goal. It was her sixth goal of the season which puts her at the top of girls soccer a fantastic player with an under forgettable performance. Taking her total to six goals in three games. Mahtomedi came up with some late attacks that made the crowd very nervous missing on a Counterattack just outside the post and then struck very late stinging the goalkeeper’s hands But ultimately she made the save. As White Bear Lake defend their house against Rivals Mahtomedi pulling off the upset beating the state champions as well as getting revenge for the loss they suffered against them season last season. As White Bear Lake win the battle of the lake which will give them momentum and confidence going forward for the rest of the campaign.
Pictures by: Karen McCullough