West metro soccer: Boys and girls' teams to watch

  • Updated: August 26, 2014 - 5:19 PM
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April Bockin, who scored 17 goals in 2013 and is committed to the University of Minnesota, and the Eden Prairie Eagles should be in position to compete for their third consecutive state tournament berth.

Photo: JERRY HOLT • jerry.holt@startribune.com,

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BOYS

Class 2A

1. Edina: With a back line trio of keeper Tanner Morrison and defenders Brett Weicht and Brennan Scott, can anyone score on the Hornets?

2. Minnetonka: The Skippers boast one of the metro’s most dynamic attackers in Suad Suljic and a stalwart in goal in Max Melin.

3. Minneapolis Southwest: Lots of big shoes to fill due to graduation, but coach Jamie Plaisance has a solid pipeline built into this program.

4. Bloomington Jefferson: With seven returning starters and 14 letter-winners from 2013, the Jaguars are the team to beat in the newly created Metro West.

5. Wayzata: The Trojans’ strength is in the midfield, with seniors Lewis O’Connor, Arthur Parens and Clayton Smith. Two-way play is a must to compensate for a youthful defense.

Class 1A

1. Breck: Perhaps no team has more experience depth — 11 of the top 14 players are seniors.

2. Benilde-St. Margaret’s: Led by all-state midfielder Aidan O’Driscoll, the Red Knights will challenge Breck in Section 6 title.

3. Waconia: Losses to graduation on the front lines will be tough to overcome, but the program is still among the Class 1A elite.

4. Orono: Eighteen players are back from 2013, paced by forward Cole Hennings.

5. Minneapolis Washburn: All-state midfielder Aidan Clemence could help Washburn challenge Southwest for conference supremacy.

GIRLS

Class 2A

1. Eden Prairie: The Eagles are shooting for their third straight state tournament berth, led by Ms. Soccer candidate and April Bockin, a 17-goal scorer in 2013 who has committed to the University of Minnesota.

2. Minnetonka: Despite losing Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year Elizabeth Endy to graduation, the defending state champion Skippers have enough in reserve to challenge again.

3. Maple Grove: The Crimson’s strengths — ball-control, team speed and balanced scoring — are the recipe for another Northwest Suburban title. And perhaps more.

4. Wayzata: Has it really been five years since the Trojans made it to the state tournament? With 10 seniors back from 2013, led by forward Nicole Palsgrove, that streak could end.

5. Edina: New coach Katie Aafedt’s team is strong on defense, a nice luxury in a transition year.

 

Class 1A

1. Benilde-St. Margaret’s: The two-time defending state champs have reloaded, returning high-scoring midfielder Aleksa Tataryn among others.

2. Blake: The Bears have met the Red Knights in three consecutive Class 1A championship games. A fourth is likely.

3. Orono: The talented Spartans will have to find a way to get past Benilde-St. Margaret’s in tough Section 6.

4. Holy Family: Claire Oberle and the Fire are in the same predicament as Orono.

5. DeLaSalle: Can the Islanders build upon their 2013 breakout campaign?

JIM PAULSEN

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