Soccer: Elk girls tie 2nd-place Maple Grove 0-0 in conference finale

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Elk River girls soccer finished the regular season with their second straight scoreless tie, this one against a second-place Maple Grove team on the Crimson’s field, Thursday evening.

“Maple Grove definitely has a lot of strong athletes and depth,” said Elk coach Brian Steuter. “They move the ball very well in the middle … Our defense did an amazing job keeping them out of our attacking third of the field.”

The Elks, who tied Champion Park 0-0 at home on Tuesday, finished 4-4-3 in the NWSC for fifth place among 11 teams. They  will take a 7-6-3 mark into sectionals next Thursday. Playoff pairings will be known by Monday.

Maple Grove finished 6-1-3 in conference for second place behind Centennial It was the Crimson’s sixth tie overall, along with eight wins and two losses.

The Elks best chance came in the second half when Erin Ness had a breakaway shot that the Crimson goalie blocked, after which Madyson St. Germain had an opportunity on the rebound but a defender knocked the shot astray.

The Elks have scored just three goals the last six games including two 1-0 wins, two scoreless ties and two losses.

“But our defense has been strong,” said Steuter.

The Elks have not held a practice since last Wednesday due to the heavy schedule recently. With a week off now before sectionals, they should be able to work on some things, the coach said.

Section 8AA starts next Thursday. The Elks have a good chance to be seeded in the top four, which would mean a home game.