Gary Giombetti

Hibbing Daily Tribune

HIBBING — To say the Osseo High School girls soccer team had trouble scoring goals last season isn’t an understatement.

The new Orioles coach Patrick Hager, who came over from the boys soccer team, knew he had his work cut out for him when he took over the program because goals came few and far between.

If game one is any indication of improvement, then Osseo is headed in the right direction.

The Orioles got goals from four different players en route to a 4-0 victory over Hibbing/Chisholm Friday at Vic Power Field.

Bluejacket coach Brittany Lindstrom said she did some research on the Orioles before the game, so she knew the struggles they had last year.

Even so, she knew it wasn’t going to be easy against the Class 2A school.

“They play schools like Blaine, Anoka and Eden Prairie,” Lindstrom said. “A lot of their games were close, but I didn’t tell the girls that. I told them were playing a 2A school. They’re competitive. They’re going to come out with skill, and they’re going to be good.

“We held our own, especially in the first half going into halftime trailing by one. That’s dangerous for everybody, but we started to shift to the mindset that we had last year where we get down on ourselves.”

That may have been the case, but Lindstrom said she noticed a little difference in this team.

“That’s progress because last year, when the other team got a goal, we’d shut ourselves down. Mentally, definitely a huge improvement for us.”

For Osseo, it was a good start to its season.

“I thought we played well,” Hager said. “We were on the ball. We controlled the majority of the game. The biggest thing for us is we always want to be on the ball. We want to make things happen.

“Ultimately, that’s our game, and it worked out well for us.”

It also helped to notch the first goal of the game. Lariah Boone got the goal during the 22nd minute.

“That helps with confidence and momentum,” Hager said. “It’s extremely important for us to get on the board early. It establishes confidence for us. It also eases the nerves, especially for the first game.

“To get the first goal, we can relax a little bit, then we can play the way that we want to play. The girls were super nervous before the game. Going forward, that’s what we want to establish in games.”

The Bluejackets didn’t generate much offense in the first half, so Lindstrom wanted to see them go on the attack more often.

“We needed to generate more offensive opportunities,” Lindstrom said. “Our defense killed it the whole game, for sure. It was making one too many touches or trying to get a little too fancy in the middle when we should be sending the ball up.

“A lot of them are younger, and they haven’t worked with this formation that we’re using before. It’s something that’s going to come with time. As they build that chemistry, they will know where each other are on the field.”

Hager wanted to see his team getting after it in the second half. He didn’t want any letdowns.

“If that didn’t happen, then I wanted them to slow the game down a little bit, find the gaps, find the new spaces that we’re creating,” Hager said. “I told them to go out there and be relaxed, play the way we know how to play and do the simple things right, then they would get opportunities.”

The Orioles got plenty of opportunities, and they capitalized on three of them.

Gabrielle Baltes scored during the 61st minute, Rylee Haug during the 67th minute and Olivia Larson during the 74th minute to salt the game away.

That was an encouraging sign for Hager.

“For us to get those four goals in the first game was huge for us,” Hager said. “The goals last year were few and far between.”

Osseo goaltender Anna Corona had two saves. Nora Petrich stopped 30 shots for the Bluejackets.

OHS 1 3 — 4

HC 0 0 — 0

First Half — 1. O, Lariah Boone, 22nd.

Second Half — 2. O, Gabrielle Baltes, 61st; 3. O, Rylee Haug, 67th; 4. O, Olivia Larson, 74th.

Goalie Saves — Osseo, Anna Corona 2; Hibbing/Chisholm, Nora Petrich 30.


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