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Cogs get lift from freshmen

Monica Maschak -
Danyelle Crozier if one of a few freshmen that start for the Genoa-Kingston soccer team this season.
Monica Maschak - Danyelle Crozier if one of a few freshmen that start for the Genoa-Kingston soccer team this season.

Entering the 2014 spring season, the Genoa-Kingston girls soccer players were looking to improve on last year's 8-13 record. The team’s improvement this season has come with the help of a handful of freshmen. 

Those freshmen who have been getting significant minutes this season are Maggie Bouque and Danyelle Crozier. The Cogs will host a Class 1A regional this week and will enter as the No. 2 seed with a 12-6-1 record.

“[The focus is on] Wednesday’s game and that is what our team is doing – we are trying to get past that,” Bouque said. “We could go far if we work hard, and that is what we are trying to do. We are just trying to get past every game and just focus on the one in front of us.”

G-K coach Randy Tate has dealt with injuries by inserting freshmen into matches, and has seen success because of it. When Crozier was lost to injury for the past few weeks, Morgana Gandsey and Olivia Napiorkowski were called upon to make major contributions, with Gandsey moving into the center-midfield position and Napiorkowski moving to sweeper.

“We have brought in quite a few. We have really needed to count on our freshmen this year,” Tate said. “They have stepped up, especially in the last three weeks, they have stepped up for us. They've been giving us good minutes and helped us get through some of these close games."

Despite being out, Crozier is expected back for the postseason. Junior Katie McCluskey also is expected to return to the G-K lineup at sweeper to strengthen the Cogs' backline. Tate said getting both of these players back would be great for the team.

Also, Ashley Grimm returned this season after missing the entire 2013 season with an ACL injury. Bouque said that the G-K squad was very talented and the likes of Grimm and Nicole Hebel has led the Cogs to a successful season.

“I didn’t know how well we were going to do. I knew we had a lot of talent,” Bouque said. “We had a strong offense and a strong defense heading into the season. I am pretty happy with how we have been doing.”

G-K opens postseason play against Mendota on Wednesday. The Cogs beat Mendota, 5-0, during the regular season. Viviana Beltran scored twice, while Grimm, Hebel and Bouque each added one. 

Crozier knows the postseason will be a challenge and she said G-K is ready to overcome those obstacles.

“We definitely have some challenges facing us in the future,” Crozier said. “But, I know as a team that we are very determined to work hard together and get over [those challenges] the best we can.”

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