Coming this Thursday White Bear Lake girls have a Primetime match up in what will be the conference opener. As they head to Saint Paul to take on cretin-Derham Hall. It is expected to be an incredibly important and intense matchup that features two of the best players in the state of Minnesota. Prior to this matchup I saw Kayla Anderson lead a second-half dominated comeback against last year’s state champions behind two goals in the second half including a winner with four minutes ago against Mahtomedi giving them momentum for last Thursday’s matchup against Lakeville South It turned out to be a back-and-forth game but the game and never broke open despite having chances Lakeville South and White Bear Lake split the points in what was a 0-0 draw. Despite having moments in that game the White Bear Lake girls must feel disappointed. Meanwhile, cretin-Derham Hall has got off to a hot start the season as they remain unbeaten after picking up three consecutive victories against Robindale, Saint Paul Academy, and the same Mahtomedi team that Kayla Anderson & the Bears beat last week. This is when everything truly starts to matter as two of The Heavy Hitters in the conference go head-to-head on a Thursday night in Saint Paul. Two incredibly strong team writes the headlines by itself but Kayla Anderson and Paige Pelletier go head-to-head as the stars align on Thursday night. Last season Kayla Anderson and White Bear Lake got the better of cretin-Derham Hall. It was 5-1 annihilation. Will Cretin Derham Hall be inspired by the challenge and pull one out in front of their home fans or will Kayla Anderson and White Bear Lake Show that they still are the superior team. We will find all that and more on Thursday night in St Paul in what should be a momentous occasion I will be in attendance yet again to see a true rivalry evolve under the lights.
White Bear lake
White Bear Lake has had a relatively strong start to the season not perfect and if you ask the girls I’m sure they would have wanted to start better. However, considering it is only just the start of the season and they have come up against some strong Challengers collectively they should be relatively happy. After dropping the first game they are unbeaten in their last three games. So far in the campaign, they have games within days of each other which can be a little troubling at times this is the first time this season where they have a significant amount of rest in between matches. They have been given a week of rest which could be incredibly important. Against Lakeville South Kayla Anderson failed to score for the first time this season after an incredibly hot start to the year. A goalless draw may not have been what they wanted but going up against a strong team they grew into the game as it progressed. I spoke to Kayla Anderson midweek and based on the conversations she was overly optimistic about the performance. Lakeville South dominated the first half but according to Kayla they didn’t drop off in the second half and they continued to get stronger as the match moved on. There still is work to be done. I was not at the match but based on the stat they made the Lakeville goalie work. The game ended up becoming more balanced in the second half despite being unable to breakthrough. From what I’ve been told it sounds like it was a good point. Kayla did express to me that this team needs more organization as well as needing some consistency in their passing attack. Having the ability to string more passes together to create more danger coming forward. Despite that, the girls still remain confident ahead of this match. Kayla Anderson and her team are excited about the challenge that lies in front of them and I think we will see a much-improved performance. The captain is capable of leading her troops in hostile territory and securing victory. Whether or not they will do it is yet to be determined but the confidence and the momentum they feel will certainly give him a chance.
Cretin-derham Hall could not have started their season much better. They have cut through every team that has been in their way. They have played less games than White Bear Lake but they have won every single game. They haven’t conceded a goal this season. Cretin-derham Hall got absolutely annihilated the reverse fixture last season Kayla Anderson had a big reason with why. Nonetheless this group does seem like a better team than they were a season ago. However this time around Kayla Anderson will not be the only Superstar you will see. Paige Pelletier has been incredibly consistent this season. She’s got nine goals this season it has been a very productive campaign for her as well as the Cretin Derham Hall girls. They started off their season with a 9-0 win VS Robindale they followed that up with absolutely crushing my sister’s School Saint Paul Academy. Before getting a crack at Mahtomedi securing a 3-0 victory. This is one of the best teams so far this season. They have faced very little challenges so far this year but nonetheless you can only play who’s in front of you. However their opening two fixtures of the seasons were against some of the worst teams and High School girls soccer right now. Robindale and SPA collectively this season are 0-7 having conceded 33 goals while only scoring three. They are at home which should be an advantage Paige Pelletier will see a worthy team across the pitch on Thursday night she will have to prove that they are as good as their record suggests. She is a great player with the abilities to take her team to a victory in her own backyard but will she do it?.
Bottom Line: Kayla Anderson vs Paige Pelletier
When I spoke Kayla during the week the one thing she kept on saying is communication and passing fluidity will be greatly important. White Bear Lake needs to start fast in this game defensively they need to stay compact but the importance of starting fast in this game is especially important because not only is it a conference game it’s away from home. They put one in the back of the net very early the confidence will Drift from cretin-Derham Hall into White Bear Lake’s advantage. If that happens they have an opportunity to pounce and blow them out of their building. That may not happen but if they start quick and explosive it certainly isn’t out of the question given how they played against them last season. This is a big conference matchup with everything on the line for both teams. A conference matchup holds more value and importance than most of the games. This is a big stage with two of the best players in the state. Cretin-Derham Hall without question is going to want revenge in this match after being so easily handled last season. They certainly have the superstar in their team to make that happen and in Pelletier. The question remains whether or not they can handle the pressure. They have not been challenged by any team they’ve played so far this season without that push it could be a cause for concern. In their opening two games, they played two teams that have significantly struggled not only to win but to score goals. I’m afraid they may not have gone through enough challenges so far this season to realistically stop White Bear Lake who has faced strong opponents. Don’t get me wrong Cretin Derham hall are capable of it they have the star in place the question is can the rest of the team collectively handle the pressure at home. Last season when they suffered that 5-1 loss Paige Pelletier was on the field so with that being said is it going to be enough to stop Kayla Anderson and White Bear Lake?. Defensively that is your biggest problem Kayla Anderson scored a hat-trick against Derham Hall last year granted that game was played in White Bear Lake but none the less that is going to be a problem they’re going to need it to address. That will turn into their nightmare Kayla has scored in every game this season until last Thursday. Not only is this a huge game for Kayla Anderson but she’s going to want to get back on the scoresheet. There will be 21 players on the pitch but in actuality, we have two superstars on the pitch at the same time that’s going to be the headline we should see a fireworks show between these two girls. Kayla had the clear Advantage after scoring a hat-trick against them last season they both are going to be determined nobody wants to lose this game. However White Bear Lake has a significant advantage they beat Cretin Derham Hall down last year if they make the right adjustments they could do it again. Cretin-Derham Hall isn’t prepared for what lies ahead of them on Thursday night. They will be at home Cretin Derham Hall is playing with all the pressure which means White Bear lake has the opportunity and chance to steal one. The key for Cretinis to get on the break early try to pull the defense out of position and strike. The counter-attack has to be what they should focus on because of the pressure of playing at home. They come forward on a few occasions the crowd will get into it and it will make a difference. However White Bear Lake has the opportunity to dictate the game. Paige is a talented player but if the defense has great organization & controls possession battle they can dominate the game. If the defense can keep their shape it is going to be really hard for Paige to be effective. The key for White Bear Lake is that simple as that they need to communicate defensively and give Kayla Service as soon as they possibly can. It is incredibly important that Kayla has service to do damage. She has incredible passing skills and is a goal poacher. She can impact the game in multiple ways as long as they have defensive communication we see Improvement on their passing game it will be incredibly hard to stop. The defense neutralized Paige last season they can do it again. Cretin defensively will have a handful with Kayla Anderson. She is the better player after a week’s rest she will be 100% fit she will be a nightmare to control. She has a captain of the defense in Sam Burket who is a great vocal leader on the pitch and a running mate in Jasmine Blair who is lightning in the bottle with the amount of energy she can influence on the game. If her teammates can give Kayla Anderson the support Cretin-Derham Hall might as well just dig their own graves because when is she’s on form nothing can stop her. As a spectator, It is going to be incredibly enticing. Obviously, two superstars going head-to-head is incredibly exciting but that’s not why. when I decided I wanted to do another exclusive story on a high school Superstar. I was considering several different superstars in girls high school soccer. I ultimately felt that Kayla Anderson would be the best choice for this project but I considered Paige Pelletier it even would have been more convenient for me but on Thursday night Kayla Anderson will prove I made the right decision a player with no ego that is constantly giving credit to teammates. We will see a captain performance on Thursday night White Bear Lake will go into St Paul and beat cretin-Derham Hall.
Pictures by: Karen McCullough