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07 Girls Promoted to Premier II

By Corey Bulheller, 08/13/21, 10:45AM CDT


The 2007 MN1 Girls are the second girls team to get promoted to the Premier level this season. They finished second in the standings, with being the only team to take points off of the winners of the league.

The team started out with 4 wins and 1 tie from the first 5 games and earning 13 of 15 points. However, in the first tie against the winners of the league team captain Jossy Saamanen got injured and would be out for the season. This would be the first of the injuries that the 07 Girls would have to deal with throughout the season. As head coach Mike Sengbush said this was a big challenge for the team but other players stepped up. They finished the last 7 games with 1 win, 2 losses and 4 ties. The team managed to finish second after overcoming the injuries within the squad.

When asked about next season Mike Sengbush said "We are excited for the challenge of facing stronger teams in league play. We will also start to focus on showcase events to start exposing our players to college coaches and those type of opportunities". He also said that "We all learned that we will compete at a very high level within the state and region. The commitment to skill work in the off season and as individuals is paramount and has been expressed to our players so we can focus primarily on systems and tactics as we start training for the 2022 season".

When asked about the season Jossy Saamanen said "This season for me was a little different than how I expected it to be. I got injured halfway through the season and was out for the rest of it. I think my team really connected on a friend level and not just a teammate level though. We all really connected by the end of the season and I am really excited to play with them again this season. I believe we could've won more games then we did, but I also believe that everyone played their hearts out and just truly wanted to play. We had a lot of our team injured with sprained ankles and different sorts of things throughout the season but everyone played hard and I believe we really did well as a team and as individuals in knowing where our limit is but also playing hard and full out until we reach it". Caroline Wellnitz said "It started off well and then we lost some key players due to injury.  Things were rough for a while as the team worked to find our balance again.  Our defenders really stepped up during that time and we were able to find our rhythm".  The top scorer of the team, Anna Manion said "Overall it was a super fun season. There were some rough patches, but towards the end of the season we were working really well together". Julia Davis, who had just joined Gitchi Gummi from ESS and was co-captain said "It was my first year with Gitch, and I'm definitely coming back next year! It was a really good year for me, I was nervous to be with a new team and even more nervous about what they would think of me. We all ended up getting along and we worked very well together".

When asked about the highlights of their seasons, all of the girls had different answers. Jossy said "My highlight of the season was when we played the number one team and tied them. It was also the game I got injured in, but it was one of my favorite games because we held our own and we gave as good as we got". Caroline said "Even though one of our key players, Jossy Saamanen, was injured midway through the season, she still came to every game and directed our team from the sideline just like she would if she was on the field". Anna and Julia both spoke about the team bonding as their highlights. With Anna saying "The highlight of the season was playing kickball as a team. It was a good time and a fun way to bond for all of us" and Julia saying "

A part of this season that really stood out to me was when we took a run in the trails behind the Saint Scholastica field. It was chilly and wet and a few of us were not too jazzed about it. Some of us got lost because a teammate decided to take an alternate route, so we ended up all the way behind the Benedictine Health Center. We ended up laughing it off despite being muddy and cold". 

When asked about what helped them grow as a player and as a team the girls Anna and Julia spoke about how Mike Sengbush helped them improve by working on weak spots as an individual and as a team. Caroline said that the team having a shared goal of wanting to get to Premier II helped her and the team stay focused. Jossy said that having a different perspective from being on the bench due to being injured as well as the team bonding which other players mentioned earlier. 

Lastly, when asked about next season the girls all said that they were looking forward to the new season already. Caroline answered "I'm excited, but nervous knowing that the competition is going to be better" and Anna said "We are all very excited and looking forward to the next season.  It will be interesting to see where we are compared to other good teams". Julia also spoke about how she was excited and said "I’m feeling super hyped for next season. It will be so exciting to see how everyone has improved and how we can all put our new skills together. I think we really clicked this year". Jossy is confident about going into the new season and said "I personally am really excited about next season. I can't wait to get back on the field and be playing with my teammates again. I think it will be a wonderful season and with everyone back at full strength I believe we will be a force to be reckoned with".