Anoka’s Michael Talbot ended the 2014 soccer season in style, clinching the Class 2A state championship with the final shootout goal. Talbot, a defender, returns to lead the Tornadoes’ title defense. He spoke with Star Tribune reporter David La Vaque about the challenges of the season ahead.

Q: How often do people bring up your goal to win the state championship?

A: People still talk about it. We just had an intrasquad scrimmage, and my team went into penalty kicks. Coach [Pete] Hayes told me, ‘You better not go because you don’t want to miss and make people forget about your last one in St. Cloud.’ I thought that was funny.

Q: Your team this year — what did you lose and what are you bringing back?

A: We lost a few guys in the midfield, and we lost some good size. But Coach Hayes is doing a good job finding guys who might be smaller but have skills. He puts guys in the right spots and runs the right systems.

Q: Are you being asked to do a little more as senior?

A: Yeah, I was lucky enough to be voted captain this season along with Blake Neumann and Connor Schaaf. Us three and the rest of the senior group are trying to set the tone for the rest of the guys.

Q: Are you ready for the challenge of taking opposing teams’ best shots?

A: Coach Hayes is … really pushing us in practice to work hard so when the time comes, we can play our best.

DAVID LA VAQUE