Blaine girls’ soccer coach Scott Zachmann marveled as his sophomore standout Kendall Stadden hammered shots in warmups before Monday’s game.
“Her shots were harder than we’ve ever seen from her,” Zachmann said. “I told my assistant coach, ‘She’s going to get a couple goals tonight.’ ”
Scoring twice, Stadden made good on Zachmann’s prediction by halftime. But she wasn’t done. A 6-1 rout of Anoka featured five Stadden goals, including one Zachmann said he will not soon forget.
“She was being pushed to the right by the defender and then Kendall turned and drilled the ball with her right foot from about 20 to 25 yards out into the upper left corner of the goal,” Zachmann said. “I had never seen that from a player her age.”
Precocious performances run in the Stadden family. Older sister Isabelle, an elite swimmer who made USA Swimming’s national roster and will compete in college for California, won the Class 2A state meet title in the 200-yard individual medley as a freshman in 2016. As a sophomore, she defended her 200 individual medley crown in record time. She also took the top spot in the 100 backstroke.
For Kendall, in her second year of varsity competition, the goal is to become a playmaker and not just a finisher.
“We’ve talked about not having to do it all herself, how sharing the ball will put her in position to score more goals,” Zachmann said.
Against Anoka, Stadden got involved in combination plays that either sprung teammates for good opportunities or gave her the ball near the opposing goal. Zachmann said Stadden could have finished with two assists.
Her five goals nearly matched the Blaine record of six, set by Britney Monteon in 2012.
“She really grown as a player,” Zachmann said. “It will be fun to watch as she keeps getting better.”
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