Tactics-wise, Century girls soccer coach Ryan Okerson says his team picks things up quick.
But the Patriots' primary positive trait goes beyond Xs and Os, Okerson said.
“I think the team unity, how they play the game, and how they’re gelling together is what stands out so far,” the Century coach said. “They take instruction very well and are willing to try new things. They’re able to adapt and make adjustments on the fly and that’s pretty encouraging to see.”
The Patriots will kick off the season tonight at 8 against St. Mary’s at the MDU Resources Community Bowl.
The Patriots went 9-8-1 last year, earning a trip to state. The expectations are high once again.
Okerson expects to have between 13 and 15 players in the regular rotation. The numbers in the program remain strong with upwards of 70 total.
Leading the way are holding midfielder Sophie Moser, attacking midfielder Kate Weigum and Rowyn Schollmeyer from her outside attacking position.
“I think we’ll be more controlled as opposed to a team like BHS, who is dangerous on the attack,” Okerson said. “We’re not really a counter-attacking team, we’re more of a possession team.”
The Patriots are anchored in the back by junior Kaia Lembke, while senior goalkeeper Olivia Kost provides sure hands in frame.
The Patriots don’t return a lot on the attack, but are always a tough nut to crack defensively.
“Our kids have a pretty good understanding of what we need to do and what’s going to allow us to be successful,” Okerson said.
More than anything, the Patriots are antsy to get outside.
“We’ve been in the Exhibit Hall, the Century gym, the Dome, but everybody in the state is pretty much in the same boat,” said Okerson. We’ve had to be patient.
"The kids have done a good of focusing during training and working on the things that are important for us going forward.”