West metro top 10 teams
1. Eden Prairie: Replacing Ms. Soccer April Bockin hasn’t been an issue. The deep Eagles have looked dominant early, winning their first three games by shutout.
2. Orono: The defending Class 1A champions lost Sophie Babo to graduation but have loads of talent returning. A 2-0 loss to Minneapolis Washburn will keep the Spartans humble.
3. Wayzata: A 2-0 loss to Lakeville North highlighted some offensive deficiencies, but losing to the talented Panthers is nothing to be concerned about.
4. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (1A): Two first-half goals highlighted a huge early-season 2-0 victory over Blake.
5. Minneapolis Washburn: The return of MF Maya Rajacich and GK Taylor Cottew help offset significant losses as the Millers transition to Class 2A.
6. Armstrong: Goalkeeper Ana Aguado and leading goal scorer Mariah Haberle lead a contingent of 10 regulars back from 2014.
7. Blake (1A): Injuries hurt the Bears in 2014. If healthy, expect Blake to improve as the season goes on and make a strong postseason run.
8. Minnetonka: Defense is the strength of this team, as shown by two shutout victories out of the gate. Still searching for dependable offense.
9. Maple Grove: Super sophomore Meredith Haakenson spent the summer traveling with a team of national all-stars and has gotten the attention of big Division-I programs.
10. Holy Angels (1A): Expectations are high after going undefeated in the Tri-Metro last year. The addition of Brooke Innes, a transfer from Washburn, will bolster the midfield.
Individuals worth watching (In alphabetical order)
Taylor Cottew, Mpls. Washburn, jr., GK
Reagan Fleck, Minnetonka, sr., D
Abbie Gearou, Rogers, sr., D
Carly Goehring, Orono, sr., MF
Meredith Haakenson, Maple Grove, soph., MF
Mariah Haberle, Armstrong, sr., F
Brooke Innes, Holy Angels, sr., MF
Makenzie Langdok, St. Michael-Albertville, jr., MF
Aleksa Tataryn, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, jr., MF
Meghan Verkinderen, Eden Prairie, sr., D
Maggie Warner, Blake, sr., MF
Circle the calendar
Tues., Sept .8: Orono at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, 7 p.m.
Thur., Sept. 10: Eden Prairie at Minnetonka, 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 26: Holy Angels at Mpls. Washburn, 8 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 3: Eden Prairie at Mounds View, 1 p.m.
Thur., Oct. 8: Blake at Orono, 6 p.m.