They’ve only just begun

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 23, 1999

Billie Anderson didn’t appear too upset after being steamrolled at home by Rochester, 13-0, on Wednesday.

Thursday, September 23, 1999

Billie Anderson didn’t appear too upset after being steamrolled at home by Rochester, 13-0, on Wednesday.

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Anderson played goaltender in the second half and cut Rochester’s first-half output by more than half, surrendering just four goals.

"In high school," Anderson said, "it would have been upsetting. But we’re still just a club."

Anderson added that the Blue Devils, playing just their second year of women’s soccer, spread the field better then ever against Rochester, giving the team more passing options. Not to mention a couple of scoring opportunities.

"It would have been nice if we could have followed through on a few of those," first-year coach Lee Brand said.

To be sure, the Yellowjackets took the opportunity to toy with the fledgling Blue Devils.

"We did a lot of passing today," said Sara King, who scored a pair of goals. "We wanted to connect on a certain number of passes before we scored."

But for Riverland, it didn’t matter that they were shark chum.

Simply fielding a team has been the first step toward respectability.

For the first game, Riverland had the minimum seven players show up. There were nine for the next game, then 10 against Rochester, leaving the Blue Devils one shy of a full-squad.

Brand said he hopes to have a starting 11 for Wednesday’s home game against the St. Olaf Jayvee.

"We’ve got 15 on our roster," Brand said. "But we’re only a club and a lot of the girls have to work."

Brand, a Detroit Lakes graduate, was working in Salt Lake City, Utah when he was hired to coach baseball for the Blue Devils.

Upon his arrival at the start of the school year, he was asked to coach the women’s soccer team as well. Since then, he has been scouring the college’s hallways for players.

That shouldn’t be the case next season, when the Riverland’s women’s soccer team steps up to the varsity plate.

That move will allow the team to hold practices, something that is difficult to do now.

"We’re lucky to have enough people show up for the games," Brand said.

By next season, Brand expects to have some recruits on the roster. He said he’ll look around locally and in Northern Iowa for some talented and skilled players.

"Half of our team has either never played before, or for more than a year or two," Brand said.

Yet, even in its informal club setting, the team is developing.

"We’re getting to know each other and starting to work really well together," said Anderson, a freshman, who followed the team as a high schooler last year and will be part of its nucleus next year. "We’re getting better."


Riverland men take fourth

The Riverland men’s golf team finished fourth in the nine-team Rochester Invite at Eastwood Golf Course on Wednesday.

The Blue Devils carted a 336 to finish ahead of fifth-place Minnesota West (346) and in back of winner Bethany Lutheran (315), Rochester (323) and Minneapolis (325).

Riverland’s Mike Willford, a sophomore out of Lanesboro, shot a 76, good for second-place overall. Nate Krueger of Bethany Lutheran earned medalist honors by shooting a 75.

Riverland’s other finishers included, Caledonia grad Pat Jilek 86, Lanesboro grad Dustin McCabe 86, and Austin High grad Chad Wolfe 88.

Wade Kolander, a Worthington grad, did not compete for Riverland, but will be available when the Blue Devils play in the State/Region XIII meet at the Mankato Country Club on Oct. 4-5.