White Bear Lake is coming off a hard-fought 2-1 victory in St Paul against Superstar Paige Peltier and previously unbeaten Cretin-derham Hall. A very impressive performance throughout the match as they win their conference opener beating cretin-derham hall for the third consecutive year. Kayla Anderson was special was a goal and an assist the defense dealt with the Raiders superstar and the goalkeeping performance from Ella Janicki was one for the ages. Little to no rest from their Victory on Thursday night they host Maple Grove in White Bear a matchup that should test them. A match them might bring some unfamiliarity which can make it difficult to prepare for however the same goes for Maple Grove as these teams have not faced each other in the recent memory. These teams are very evenly matched having both faced some strong sides on the way to a 3-1-1 record. Both White Bear and Maple Grove have had to deal with a fair amount of challenges through a difficult schedule to start the season. They will be prepared for the challenge that lies ahead tomorrow afternoon. Even though these teams have not seen each other in quite some time when you have a superstar player like Kayla Anderson that can impact the game in as many ways as she can it’s always going to be a challenge they will have their hands can Maple Grove find a way to stop her? or is it going to be another Kayla Anderson performance? We will find all that and more Saturday afternoon in White Bear.
White Bear Lake
White Bear Lake continues to have an incredibly productive campaign so far this season. They have to feel confident and prepared for the challenge that Maple Grove will present. White Bear Lake made really important adjustments and have shown improvement in several areas from their draw with Lakeville South. Against Cretin they were incredibly ambitious and that got off to the Races very early. It felt like before you could even blank they gathered a two-goal lead. On the counter-attack they looked incredibly dangerous it was really impressive attacking performance. However the most impressive thing about their display last night was the defensive setup & goalkeeping. Cretin-derham Hall has an incredibly talented star in Paige Peltier. The defensive execution and setup were absolutely perfect. They make things as uncomfortable as humanly possible on Paige she had a miserable performance largely due to the physical defense. Even beyond that, the goalkeeping performance from Ella Janicki was one to remember she wrapped up 11 saves against the Raiders. She was just special making crucial saves in big moments. White Bear Lake is unbeaten in four of their last five games. This is just another opportunity to take the momentum and run with it. They have played their last two matches away from White Bear Lake High School returning home should be a great morale boost as they should have a great chance to win back-to-back games. Whether it is a Kayla Anderson’s fire show a defensive performance from Sam Burket and company or another goalkeeping display from Ella Janicki White Bear Lake will have a great chance pick up all three points Saturday afternoon making continuous improvements will go a long way in achieving that.
Maple Grove is not a team to be taken lightly they have had a tremendously strong start to the campaign. They definitely have the potential to pull off the upset and beat White Bear Lake away from home. That is going to be a very tall task given the Superstar that plays on the other team. Nonetheless, they have a team that is capable of pulling it off. Only one loss this season as I mentioned they have an identical record of White Bear Lake. Maple Grove is a different type of team they don’t have to rely on a superstar. I’m not suggesting that White Bear Lake will have to but they have that in their advantage. Meanwhile, Maple Grove from the looks of it is a collection team of individuals they have beaten some really strong teams. Just like White Bear lake, they were beaten by Centennial There are some similarities in their results. Maple Grove got a big win against Rodger who is only lost one game this season. Another win against Micheal Albertville and a win against Washburn and a draw against Champlin Park. They have done relatively well for themselves and will certainly be up for the challenge. It is hard to say what will be the factors for them in this game but the Midfield could be incredibly crucial especially because they lack a superstar as they come together collectively they could have a chance but it will be a challenge.
The bottom line is these teams have not played each other in quite a while. There will be some uncertainty in the early parts of this match. How do you prepare for a team you haven’t really played in recent times. You can watch the film but it can only be so much if you do not have the experience of playing against the opposition. In games like this Superstar, quality can be incredibly important. Kayla Anderson is a superstar in High School girls soccer she is a goal shy of 50 high school goals if I’m not mistaken. She could be a huge X Factor knowing you have a superstar to deal with it makes it even more difficult to prepare for. Away from home Maple Grove focus should be controlling The Possession and frustrate the White Bear Lake attack its there vest best in pulling off this upset away from home. White Bear Lake is at home after having played the last two games away the momentum is much in their favor. White Bear Lake should attack early and try to get an early goal just like they did against cretin-derham because of the pace they have upfront. They have the athleticism get on the counter quickly and early. It could be viewed as a risk but they’re at home in front of their own fans that’s not even to mention the fact they have speed up to get back on defense if they go all out on the counter. Against cretin-derham Hall Kayla Anderson was magical if you get a performance like this again consider this win a done deal. Their defense goalkeeping and Midfield was electric you saw much more fluidity in the passing game which allowed them to get forward regularly. If they can recreate what they did in the first half yesterday and maintain it throughout the match Maple Grove will have no chance. The concerning thing is maintaining momentum. Both games I have been to so far they’ve had trouble maintaining the quality. If they can display that type of mentality and play attacking football throughout the game they will be incredibly hard to stop. When they’re playing with that fluidity coming forward especially through the Midfield they are almost Unstoppable. If they made slight improvements all-around they should have no problem securing the victory. A strong Midfield with the ability to come forward. A disciplined defense led by Sam Burket who keeps her backline in order and is exceptional with Arial balls. An outstanding goalkeeper in Ella Janicki and one of the best players in the state in Kayla Anderson. If White Bear Lake can give service to Kayla early in this game and maintain their shape defensively there’s no question they will win this game. Maple Grove is a challenge but not a challenge that these girls Aren’t capable of dealing with.