A year ago, the state champion was crowned for girl’s soccer. Century was at that tournament, and the 2020 seniors feel the path is there for the Patriots to make a return trip next spring.
Century has been the powerhouse of girls soccer in the state of North Dakota. However, a tough season proving that things never come easy, a good lesson taught by the outgoing seniors.
“These girls just came out and played the game and they understand that bad things are going to happen,” head coach Ryan Okerson says. “And we just continued on, so that was our biggest point. Just no matter what happens on the field, if there’s a bad foul called, if they score, we score, it doesn’t matter. We just keep playing the game.”
The Patriots had confidence in what they returned in 2020, including the ability to keep teams out of their side of the field.
“I mean, our defense was going to be super good this year,” says senior Riley Ball. “Hopefully we’ll get some good freshman and underclassmen to fill in those positions next year and hopefully we can excel at the backline again.”
Century ended last season beating Bismarck 1-0 in the 5th place game, a large portion of underclassman playing minutes, gaining valuable state experience.
“And I think along with that, us, personally, how we missed out on our senior year,” says senior Ashley Albers they’re going to try and avenge that and try and gain us some wins next year.”
Even though these seniors will move on, they see the potential for another title run.
“Even at the open gyms you could see their talent that they naturally have,” Albers says.
“I think we’ll be very young next year,” says Okerson. “I think we’ll have a lot of freshmen, sophomores playing in those starting roles and keep players for us which means again we’ll take our lumps at the beginning of the year but I think that they’ll line out if they take the coaching and continue to progress. I think we’ll be fine.”
Century last won a state title in 2016, making next season the largest gap between titles.