Hayden girls soccer team wins seven of first nine games

After nine games this season, the Hayden girls’ soccer team almost equaled their aggregate wins from last year with a record of 7-1-1 after losing their first game of the season 2-0 to St James Academy on Thursday .

It’s a group another year wiser, having made a late playoff push last year when it went 10-8 and lost 1-0 to eventual state champion Bishop Miege in the East Regional Championship Game.

Offensive versatility

Hayden is currently averaging four goals per game, remaining goalless in just two competitions and scoring two or more goals in six of the other seven games.

And it’s not just one person for opposing teams to get down to.

Of the 36 goals scored this season, 15 different Hayden players have scored, with eight of them scoring more than one, led by Sloane Sims (6), Jill Lenherr (5) and Jenessa Broxterman (5).

Hayden Junior Sloane Sims (5) keeps the ball in play during Thursday's home game against St James Academy.

Kreutzer said that having players put players in different positions and having them work there for a few games at once helped the team to have multiple pieces that can get you to the net.

“In addition, the good thing about (many) returnees is a lot of competition in training,” said coach Klaus Kreutzer. “They know if they don’t play it’s not because they’re bad players, someone just plays better. They know what they have to do and everyone would rather be on the field than on the bench.”

Veteran midfielder Elizabeth Dunshee is one of the players who has benefited from the change in position, having switched from forward to attacking midway this season as she returns from a hip injury that caused her to miss most of last season .

Hayden senior Elizabeth Dunshee (1) finishes a ball at home during Thursday's game against St James Academy.

“I think it was just the energy on the field, that was there,” Dunshee said of the strong start. “There was no lack of commitment from anyone in the team. We connected passes throughout midfield that we’ve struggled with in recent years, that was the most satisfying thing.”

“I think the chemistry is just a lot stronger. If we go out on the field, we’re going to win and we haven’t done that before. We now have higher expectations for every game, which is good.”

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