HIBBING — It has been a good start for the Hibbing U19 girls soccer team this summer.
The squad – which is playing in the Arrowhead Youth Soccer Association once again this summer – is undefeated after four matches this season. Hibbing has won two matches and two matches have been draws as it stands at 2-0-2 for the season.
Hibbing was able to remain unbeaten on Tuesday evening when it faced a physical Grand Rapids squad and the local team came away with a 4-2 victory in action at Vic Power Fields in Hibbing.
Charlene Husmann, coach of the U19 girls team, said it was a good game for her team on Tuesday. The U19 team is made up of many players who will be on the Hibbing High School varsity and junior varsity teams this coming fall.
“Possession is the key as the girls were able to hold onto the ball long enough,” Husmann said. “It was tough; it was a very physical game but they did well. There were a couple of yellow cards out there but sometimes you just can’t avoid it.”
Hibbing scored early in the second half to break a 2-2 halftime tie and that lead stood up as the minutes ticked away. Grand Rapids had some good scoring chances midway through the second half but it was unable to find the back of the net. Hibbing put on great pressure in the final minutes of the match and finally scored a big insurance goal with about a minute remaining for the 4-2 victory.
“We always like to keep the pressure on until the very end. We like to keep the shots going on net,” Husmann said. “So that’s our key as possession wins the game.”
Husmann felt that Hibbing and Grand Rapids were two similar teams and she added that Grand Rapids showed its physicality out on the pitch.
“Grand Rapids was tough, pretty physical but our passing was a little bit more together and our shooting was a little better. But it was a good game,” the coach explained.
Husmann was asked what improvements she would like to see from her team in the short term and she said, “I just hope we can slow it down and get the nerves worked out. I hope we can pass the ball and play our game; we just have to slow it down. We get a little too excited when we get it towards the net.”
Husmann said she has coached the U15 team in the past and that it is her first season coaching the U19 team. Thus, she said she is learning on the job too.
“I am working out kinks as well,” Husmann said. “It has been an adjustment for all of us. In practice, we teach them touches. That’s the most important thing, touches and passes and how to defend the ball well. That is what we focus on every practice.”
The coach feels that it is important for soccer players to play in the summer to ready themselves for the school season in the fall.
“I think it is so important for them to play in the summer and I think it helps them in the long term,” Husmann said. “And, it keeps them out of trouble. By the end of the season I just want them to play better as a team, support each other, have good sportsmanship and just do our best. That’s all I can hope for, that we go out and we give it our all at all times.”