Girls soccer: Stingle leads Duluth East to win over Hermantown

A couple of years ago, Michelle Maunu, a defender on the Esko-Carlton girls soccer team, teed it up as a place-kicker for the Esko football team on Friday nights.

A couple of years ago, Michelle Maunu, a defender on the Esko-Carlton girls soccer team, teed it up as a place-kicker for the Esko football team on Friday nights.

If the Duluth East football team ever needs a place-kicker, it might check into Megan Stingle's availability.

Stingle scored three goals Wednesday night in East's 4-1 victory over Hermantown at Public Schools Stadium. Two of the goals came from about 25 yards out as she surprised the Hawks' defense and goalkeeper Kaylee Steen.

"That's what we've been working on in practice, is trying to take shots from the midfield," the senior said. "I guess it just worked out tonight."

Part of the reason was the recent move that put Stingle, usually a striker, at center midfield. The Greyhounds (11-5) have struggled somewhat to score against tougher competition, netting only nine goals in 10 games against Class AA teams.


Coach Shawn Roed said stimulating the offense is a necessity heading into next week's Section 7AA playoffs.

"We wanted to get [Stingle] more involved in the play," Roed said. "Tonight, it obviously paid off because she had such a great shot. You can't fault their goalie [Steen], she's a great goalie. Those shots would beat anyone. Megan's got a great shot and has a nose for the net.

"If we can get her to get more touches on the ball each game, she'll have more of an opportunity to score goals."

East struck at the 5:59 mark as senior forward Abby Sertich scored her sixth goal of the season. Hermantown (12-3-1) gladly would have taken a one-goal deficit into halftime, especially after losing star defender Nikki Schminski to a leg injury. But Stingle found an opening in the middle in the half's waning moments and deposited an arcing shot over Steen's head for a 2-0 lead.

"We played a little bit more defensively, that was our plan, so she wouldn't get in close," Hawks coach Scott Larson said. "We didn't pressure her enough in the middle and she took advantage of that -- she clearly can do that. You have to be right on her, and we weren't on her."

The same was true in the 47th minute as Stingle pounced on a loose ball and sent a dipping blast -- what amounted to a mid-range field goal -- that beat Steen to her right to make it 3-0.

After miscommunication in the backfield cost East a goal in the 67th minute, Stingle narrowly missed on her hat trick goal on another deep shot in the final six minutes. She made up for it by taking a pass on the left wing and driving a shot to Steen's left in the next-to-last minute for her team-leading 13th goal of the season.

"The kids talked about making a statement all week, and they went out there and worked hard," Roed said. "It showed that she wanted that last goal."


r Besides Schminski, Hermantown also lost starters Anna Danielson (finger) and Amelia Legarde (knee). Their status for the remainder of the regular season will be determined after they see doctors today.

Hermantown 0-1--1

Duluth East 2-2--4

First half -- 1. DE, Abby Sertich (Rachel Hodapp), 6th minute; 2. DE, Megan Stingle (Olivia Mancini), 40th.

Second half -- 3. DE, Stingle, 47th; 4. H, Kara Annoni, 67th; 5. DE, Stingle (Kelli Klun), 79th.

Saves -- Kaylee Steen, H, 9; Jackie Reinemann, DE, 3.

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