Howie Hanson: Denfeld Venom girls soccer team wins state championship

The Minnesota state champion Duluth Denfeld Venom. Submitted

Howie Hanson

The Duluth Denfeld Venom won the 2012 MYSA U-14 Classic 3 state championship with a 1-0 victory over the Sibley Sting on Wednesday at Lucy Winton Bell Complex in Lakeland, Minn.

“I think I can speak for the coaching staff, parents, family members and the Denfeld Soccer Club when I say that this group of girls are very special,” said Jeff Emanuel, who coached the magical team along with Christi Lemker. “They put their time in on the practice field. It is a rare things for a bunch of girls from different cities to bond not just on the field, but off the field as well. What an honor and a privilege it is to coach such a great bunch of kids.”

The Venom finished the season 16-0, including three victories at state.

Players were G Katherine Anderson, RCB Mikayla Cozzi, ORMF Mary Leonard (captain), LCB Ellie Chicos, OLMF Quinn Reamer, S Rachael Collier, RF Elle Emanuel (captain), RD Bailey Pantsar , CD Johanna Marciniak (captain), LD Lauren Lemker, OLMF Kate Hnatko, ORMF Rachel Yagoda, LF Jaiden Fontaine, LCB Rachel Skurich, S Andria McGraw, U Jordyn Nelson, RCB Kalee Monahan and RLF Mikayla Kero.

“Winning the state tournament was a huge accomplishment for our team,” said Leonard. “I knew we could win and take home the gold. We wanted to win so bad. You could see it in everybody’s face. We were determined to show people what this little Duluth team could do. We have gone through a lot this season, and winning state proved to us that everything was worth it.”

. . .

The Dr. Nancy English 5K Memorial Walk and Run will be held Saturday. The event starts with a kid’s race at 8:15 a.m., then a 5K race starting at 8:30 a.m. at the end of Minnesota Avenue on Park Point. The 5K race will begin on Minnesota Avenue near Sky Harbor Airport, and follows Minnesota Avenue north to a turnaround spot, then back the same way.

Minnesota Avenue will be closed to traffic starting at 8 a.m. for the duration of the race. Motorists will be not be allowed in or out of the Park Point Recreation Area while runners are on the roadway. Motorists should be alert to officers directing traffic near 36th Street and the Park Point Recreation area. The event should be over by 10 a.m.

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