Chanhassen scored more than two goals in a match just once in 2019. They were shutout seven times. A total of 11 scores were registered last season in a 3-9-1 campaign.
Four matches into the 2020 fall season, the Storm already own three wins. And after scoring twice Sept. 1 in a victory at Bloomington Jefferson, they passed their 2019 season total of goals, now with 13.
A stark contrast, but certainly something not unexpected with Chanhassen returning 10 varsity regulars to the pitch.
“I feel like this year our chemistry is more than we’ve had past years. We’re very united, working together really well,” Chanhassen senior captain Taryn Gellner said.
“You hear the encouragement, not just on the field, but from the bench. It is so positive and uplifting, it definitely helps us in the game,” Chanhassen senior Colleen Westerhaus said.
The most interesting stat through wins over Robbinsdale Cooper (6-0), Bloomington Kennedy (5-1) and Bloomington Jefferson (2-0) is the amount of different goal scorers.
Thus far, eight different Storm players have found the twine including Westerhaus and Kennedy Beld with three each.
“Obviously it’s talent, but I just feel way more connected with my teammates right now. We’re all on the same page. Even the new players, we’re really trying to uplift them, give them the confidence to take those shots and score goals,” Westerhaus said.
“I feel like we’re working for each other, not ourselves, more than we ever have,” said Gellner, a state track participant on a relay in 2018.
Westerhaus was Chanhassen’s go-to scorer as a sophomore until a knee injury in a section win over Prior Lake ended her season. After returning last season, the Storm captain has shifted positions this year, moving to outside back.
Don’t let her defensive title fool you. Her and Gellner have both the ability and blessing from the coaching staff to move up and create plays.
“I love defending up the field. Being outside back gives me the opportunity to do that and still be involved in saving a goal or a game on defense,” she said.
Gellner, taking a loose ball along the left sideline, switched fields to Westerhaus outside the penalty box. Unchallenged Westerhaus struck the ball under the crossbar in the right corner for the 1-0 lead in the 31st minute.
With 3:06 to play in the first half, after Bloomington Jefferson was unable to clear a corner kick attempt from the Storm, Anika Sather drilled a shot over the outstretched arm of the goaltender for the 2-0 lead. Grace Fogarty was credited with an assist.
“It’s a good opportunity to prove it. To show the first time beating someone wasn’t a fluke,” said Gellner of the double Metro West Conference schedule where teams will play each other twice (sans Chaska for Chanhassen).
The Storm did suffer its first loss in a 2-1 decision at Benilde-St. Margaret on Sept. 3.
Chanhassen grabbed a 1-0 lead before the Red Knights got on the board on a penalty kick goal from Annie Golinvaux after Storm goaltender Jess Maus was whistled for a foul in the penalty box.
Lauren Hillins’ first varsity goal off a header late in the first half was the final difference for Benilde-St. Margaret.
Chanhassen was credited with six shots on goal, including a strong scoring chance in the closing minutes.
THREE POSITIVE RESULTS
Chanhassen lost 3-0 to Bloomington Kennedy in 2019. They tied the Eagles 1-1 in 2020.
Chanhassen lost 3-0 to Bloomington Jefferson in 2019. On Sept. 1 the Storm beat the Jaguars 1-0.
It’s a redemption tour.
Chanhassen, shutout in 11 of 14 matches last season, winning just twice, matched the season win total with the road victory over Bloomington Jefferson.
The Storm’s 2019 goals total of five was also passed in the victory, now six goals in three games.
Alex Feliciano’s cross into the box found the foot of captain Ben Giles, who beat two Jaguar defenders to the spot, slipping a shot past the goaltender with 13:30 remaining for the game-winner.
Bloomington Jefferson had a number of chances in the final 90 seconds, a mad flurry in the box, including a goal-saving stop by Storm defender Timothy Klein.
Chanhassen did suffer its first loss of the season Sept. 3 at Benilde-St. Margaret.
Tenekay Johnson headed a corner kick from Matt Virginia to his foot, spinning and scoring all in one motion in the 33rd minute.
It was only the second surrendered goal by Chanhassen and goaltender Caden Carlson in four matches (2-1-1).
The Storm are off until Tuesday, Sept. 15, a doubleheader home match with Robbinsdale Cooper.
UNBEATEN AT THE NET
Chanhassen passed another Metro West Conference test, topping Bloomington Jefferson on the road in a 5-2 decision Sept. 3 to improve to 3-0 on the season.
The Storm clinched the match with a pair of three-set victories at second singles and first doubles.
Losing the first set 6-2, Bella Plath and Natasha Gauerke rallied to win the final two sets 7-6, tie-breaker scores of 7-1 and 7-2.
Sam Von Rentzell added a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win over Syndey Walworth on the singles side.
Chanhassen also won close sets at second and third doubles as Ellie Rathbun and Savannah George scored a 7-5, 6-0 decision, and Sara Thomas and Kegan Van Asten won 6-4, 7-6 with a 7-4 tie-breaker score.
Alaina Gerding notched her second win of the season at fourth singles 6-2, 6-4.
Chanhassen also won 6-1 over St. Louis Park on Sept. 1.