Scoring goals has rarely been a problem for the Solon girls soccer team over the past several seasons.
Alison McKinnie racked up 125 goals herself over the past three seasons while establishing herself as one of the most prolific goal scorers in Iowa.
Senior Anna Seydel notched 27 goals while playing alongside McKinnie last season, giving the Spartans the top-scoring duo in Class 1A.
McKinnie is gone, but the Spartans haven’t stopped scoring goals. Just three games into the season and the Spartans have already developed a new potent scoring combination.
Freshman Josie Durr has scored six goals in her first three varsity games, and along with Seydel, junior Ali Herdliska and a veteran back line, has Class 1A No. 6 Solon off to a 2-1 start.
“Josie comes in with a lot of confidence,” Solon coach John Tucker said. “I don’t think that (the fact) she is a freshman really has been a detriment to her. She has just jumped right in and has been doing a great job with the team.”
Durr burst onto the scene with a hat trick in a 4-0 win over WaMaC foe Marion in her first match.
The freshman had the Spartans’ lone goal in a 3-1 loss to Class 3A No. 7 Muscatine, and had two more in a 10-0 win over West Liberty.
Led by Durr’s six goals, the Spartans are averaging five goals per game through three games as seven different players have scored.
Seydel, who ranked in the top 10 in Class 1A in goals last year, has one goal through three games. But Herdliska and seniors Alyssa Stotler and Brianna Pike each have two.
“With Anna (Seydel) controlling the midfield, we knew what we wanted to do and everyone is falling into place and things are working out really well,” Tucker said. “Ali Herdliska playing outside forward has been a doing a great job. She served up Alison (McKinnie) with a lot of goals last year and she is serving up Josie this year. We have a lot of speed up front and we’ve got obviously some skill, so I think we are definitely a threat to score a lot of goals this year.”
* SCORING EXPLOSION: Speaking of scoring goals, few teams have done a better job of it this season than Clear Creek Amana. The Clippers (4-0) rank third in the state in goals with 26 in just four matches.
Class 1A No. 13 Clear Creek Amana boasts three of the top-six goal scorers in the state, as the trio has accounted for all 26 goals this season.
Freshman Hannah Bormann ranks second in the state with 10 goals, while junior Kelsey Hall and senior Emma Bormann each have eight goals.
* TOUGH START: Few teams have had a more difficult start to the season than Class 1A No. 5 West Liberty.
The Comets opened the season with back-to-back losses to Class 3A No. 14 Muscatine and Class 2A No. 13 Davenport Assumption before picking up a 2-1 win over Class 1A third-ranked Mid-Prairie.
* RANKING UPDATE: Two-time defending state champion West High remains atop the Class 3A boys rankings, released by the Iowa High School Soccer Coaches Association.
The Trojans are 6-0 and have run their winning streak to 26 straight matches dating back to last season.
City High, last year’s Class 3A runner-up, is 5-1 this season and ranked seventh in 3A.
Regina is 2-0 and ranked No. 1 in the Class 1A poll, receiving all seven first-place votes.
The defending state champion Regals own wins over Class 2A No. 14 Mount Pleasant and Decorah.
Mid-Prairie (4-1) is No. 3 in the Class 1A poll, while West Liberty (1-2) is fifth
In the girls soccer rankings released Friday by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, West climbed to No. 3 in Class 3A after opening the season with four straight wins.
Solon is No. 6 in Class 1A, while Regina (1-2) is No. 7 and Clear Creek Amana is No. 13.