Chan Soccer - Armstrong

Chanhassen captain Lillie Armstrong credits a recent three-game shutout streak to improved communication and being "loud" on and off the field.

If you didn't see it, you wouldn't have believed it.

A two-goal deficit with under 10 minutes to play, Chaska scored three times, the final tally in overtime, pulling off the remarkable comeback over rival Chanhassen.

Not one, not two, but three free kick goals from then Hawks senior Lily Smalley, all abut 20 to 30 yards out from the net. Each shot right under the bar, or in the corner.

"Last year was a very tough loss to Chaska, but it was a once in a lifetime game that ended in impressive upset," Chanhassen senior Lillie Armstrong said. "Both realizing this will hopefully benefit us going into Thursday's game."

Sammie Ramboldt was on the field for Chaska, looking for a rebound with each shot. All she needed to be was a spectator.

"Watching Lily score those three goals last year in the game against Chanhassen was both exhilarating and emotional. I remember everyone on the field just crazy pumped and filled with energy and that energy just increased with every goal that went in," Ramboldt said. "When the third one went in everyone on and off the field was filled with emotion and it was definitely an unforgettable experience."

Chanhassen, at home in the 2019 meeting with the Hawks, game time scheduled for 7 p.m., owns a 2-7-2 record into the final two weeks of the regular season.

That number is quite deceiving. The Storm have played No. 1 Edina, No. 7 Minnetonka, No. 10 Lakeville South as well as eight-win Lakeville North and Class A No. 5 Benilde-St. Margaret.

"Our team has faced many challenging teams early on in the season which has made us stronger as a team and more disciplined overall. Our confidence and strength as a team has also increased making it hard for teams to break us down," Armstrong said.

With half of the varsity roster coming from the 10th grade class, finding that consistency into the playoffs is key.

Chanhassen recently held teams off the scoreboard in three consecutive matches, wins over Holy Family Catholic and Bloomington Kennedy, and a scoreless draw with Bloomington Jefferson.

Armstrong said the role of seniors and upperclassmen is to nurture and connect the team.

"From our recent three-game shutout streak, I felt that I contributed strong communication, which includes encouraging players on/off the field and guidance to players," she said. "As a captain, I am trying to get players to realize that the best teams are the loudest teams on and off the field. Also I am trying to get players to really enjoy the season and take it day by day because it goes by so fast."

GOOD START TO THE WEEK

Ramboldt netted two goals, starting off a big week for Chaska girls soccer with a 4-2 home win over Bloomington Kennedy Sept. 24.

A wild first half produced a combined five goals from the two teams.

Ramboldt added an insurance goal with 15 minutes remaining, a strike from the box at 4-2.

Maddy Davey and Alex Peterson also scored for Chaska (5-5-3) in the first half. The Hawks are now 3-1 in the Metro West Conference, one game behind leader Benilde-St. Margaret.

Now about that Chanhassen match Thursday.

"I think that the Chan-Chaska game is all about community! This game is a great way to bring people from both schools together and experience some amazing soccer," Chaska senior Lilly Halvorson said. "Last year was unforgettable, I hope this year we play with just as much intensity and heart. Our team has something special this year and I hope people can feel our 'family vibe' in the stands!"

"I have a lot of confidence in the team and how hardworking and driven we are to accomplish various goals. Tomorrow should be a really exciting one with some really good competition that pushes us and puts us to the test," Ramboldt said.

"In order to finish the season strong and to get the win tomorrow, we as a team just need to have the right mentality going into the game," she added. "During the game if we play quick, have lots of movement with and without the ball, and leave everything we have on the field, we should be able to secure another win."

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