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Seven Cats selected to All-BRC soccer

Junior Mady Shew (18) headlines a list of seven Wildcats named to 2019 All-Big Rivers Conference Girls Soccer teams after leading the Cats in scoring this season with 27 goals and 14 assists. File photo 1 / 3
Freshman Lindsey Szymanski (4) joined her twin sister Lexy and junior Mady Shew on the 2019 All-Big Rivers Conference First Team after accounting for 25 goals and 11 assists this season. File photo 2 / 3
Freshman Lexy Szymanski (5) tallied 26 goals and 8 assists in her first high school season to earn a spot on the 2019 All-Big Rivers Conference First Team. File photo 3 / 3

There's no doubt the future looks bright for the Wildcat girls' soccer team, and that was reflected in the Cat's presence on the 2019 All-Big Rivers Conference teams.

Four freshmen were among the seven players honored, including twins Lexi and Lindsey Szymanski, who joined junior Mady Shew on the All-BRC First Team. Freshman Liv Nelson earned a spot on the second team while freshman Riley Nesbitt, sophomore Jaden Woiwode and senior Ashley Nelson received honorable mention.

The Wildcats shattered the school record for most goals in a season this year with 110, with Shew, Lexy and Lindsey Szymanski and Liv Nelson accounting for 93 between them. The old team mark was 85 set in 2011. Shew and the Szymanski twins also challenged Sarah Vitale's single season record of 32 goals in a season in 2011 with Shew scoring 27, Lexy Szymanski 26 and Lindsey Szymanski 25.

"Statistically we had a fantastic year," head coach Charles Conley said. "We didn't quite touch Sarah Vitale's record of 32 goals in a season, but to have three players challenge her record was amazing."

Shew dished out 14 assists to go along with her 27 goals while Lexy and Lindsey Szymanski dished out 8 and 11 assists, respectively. Liv Nelson added 15 goals and 14 assists and Ashley Nelson registered three goals and 13 assists while Woiwode had four assists from her back line position. Nesbitt started every game in goal for the Cats and recorded five shutouts with a 1.47 goals against average.

"I was proud to see so many receive recognition," Conley said. "It says a lot about the amount of skill we have with this group. We were very young defensively and had some challenges, but it's good to see the conference coaches recognize Riley's talents in goal. She worked hard all year to play well and is quite the competitor, evident in her preparation."

The Wildcats finished the season with a record of 13-6-3 and won their sixth regional championship while finishing third in the BRC with a mark of 9-3-2. They lose just five seniors to graduation, including co-captain Ashley Nelson.

"All in all a fantastic 2019," Conley said. "Everyone would admit we fell short of our overall goals but the potential is certainly there for a few years to come yet."

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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