FALL PREVIEW: Tigers looking to make more strides in 2020
MARSHALL — After another season filled with lots of great goals, signature games and plenty of experience and growth shown, the Marshall boys and girls soccer teams will look to take another step forward this fall.
In its second varsity season last year, the Marshall girls soccer team showed lots of improvements, posting a record of 5-9 and winning its first playoff game in program history against Faribault. This season, Marshall will look to reach another level under coach Jesus Hernandez.
Despite not having any seniors on the roster, the Tigers will return multiple key players, led by a strong junior class that includes Danya Estrada, Emily Hernandez, Ally Quist, Emma Mernaugh and Grace Gordon as well as sophomores Maddy VanKeulen and Marissa Talamantes and freshmen Hannah Gordon and Leah Legatt.
Coach Hernandez said just having a larger group of players on this year’s team will be a key factor and that they’ve been with each other since the beginning of the program.
“I think we have grown physically and mentally but just the fact that we have more girls and competition makes it a great area of strength,” coach Hernandez said. “A lot of the girls have been playing together since the program started, so they know each other better and bond as a group well.”
Marshall started its season with a tough stretch, dropping its first three games.
On the boys side, veteran leadership will not be in short supply, as the Tigers will have a senior class that includes 13 players. Maher Abdallah, Amiin Aden, Ivan Celedon, Saw John, Hping Soe, Si Koch Koch, Saw Eh Nay Hser Kpaw, Ariel Ramon Ramos, Isaak Redman, Tristan VanDeVere, Say Htoo, Eli Salisbury and Carlos Reyes highlight the senior class, while juniors Isaac Correa, Mohamed Mohamed, Dahir Deekow and Bryan Esparza and sophomores Aung Hping and Lucas Kayser round out the roster.
Coach Roberto Esparza said the team has their sights locked in on some high expectations, primarily bringing home some hardware for the school.
“I told my kids, ‘I want to retire after I put a plaque on the school that says something about soccer’ because they’ve got a lot of plaques for the other sports, but not soccer,” coach Esparza said.
Marshall began its season with a pair of ties against St. Peter and New Ulm before the Tigers defeated the Eagles 6-0 on Tuesday for their first victory of the year.