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Prep girls soccer: Denfeld’s Alyssa Doyle shines in win over Hermantown

The Hunters scored twice in each half in the shutout win.

Duluth Denfeld girls soccer shuts out Hermantown
Duluth Denfeld's Alyssa Doyle controls the ball during the Hunters' 4-0 win over Hermantown Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, at Public Schools Stadium. Doyle scored two goals and had an assist in the win.
Jamey Malcomb / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — Duluth Denfeld junior Alyssa Doyle felt the momentum moving to the Hunters side midway through the first half of their game against Hermantown Tuesday at Public Schools Stadium.

Doyle assisted on an early goal by Caddy Taylor and then she added another about 10 minutes later to give the Hunters a 2-0 win.

“We came out really strong and Caddy got the first goal and we just had momentum from there,” Doyle said. “Then I had the ball at like the 25 marker, picked my head up and shot and it went in.”

The Hunters dominated possession throughout much of the match, keeping the ball on Hermantown’s side of the field and goalkeeper Cambriia Thomas busy.

Duluth Denfeld girls soccer shuts out Hermantown
Duluth Denfeld's Lucy Bell, 25, tries to keep the ball away from Hermantown's Brook Judnick during a game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, at Public Schools Stadium.
Jamey Malcomb / Duluth News Tribune

“They were all really nervous and excited for this game — all day at school they were talking about it,” Hunters head coach Leah Hamm said. “They know how to play possession and tonight they made the choice to do that, to look for each other’s feet and to move for each other off the ball.”

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Doyle credited Hamm with changing Denfeld’s playing style and getting the team to commit in her second year leading the Hunters.

“Her style of coaching is to play possession and really keep control of the ball and be calm on the ball so we can just control the game as a team,” Doyle said. “I really think her mentality she brought to the team has helped us so much. Against a harder opponent like Hermantown, we were able to stick to our game and play the way we practiced.”

Duluth Denfeld girls soccer shuts out Hermantown
Hermantown's Natalya Hooey, 13, races to the ball in front of Denfeld's Luci Chastey, 10, during the Hunters' 4-0 win Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, at Public Schools Stadium.
Jamey Malcomb / Duluth News Tribune

While Hermantown coach Nathan Hanson was disappointed with the loss, he was happy with the way his team responded after the initial onslaught and a mid-half formation change.

“(Denfeld) came out firing, they brought their A game and they caught us a little bit on our heels,” Hanson said. “We continued to battle, we completed changed formations in the middle of the half. They responded well, switching on the fly, making the adjustments they needed to make and, at that point, I felt the momentum turned in our favor.”

Duluth Denfeld girls soccer shuts out Hermantown
Hermantown's Natalya Hooey, 13, clears the ball by Duluth Denfeld's Ashley Beckrich, 11, during the Hunters' win Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, at Public Schools Stadium.
Jamey Malcomb / Duluth News Tribune

The Hawks were able to generate their best scoring opportunity toward the end of the half. They got a shot over the hands of goalie Cayley Larson, but senior defender Aliah Walker stepped in front of the shot and headed it out of the box to end the Hermantown threat.

Later in the second half, Adell Wormuth scored an unassisted goal for Denfeld and Doyle added a penalty kick goal.

While the Hawks (3-3-1) have hit a rough stretch, Hanson thinks Section 7AA is wide open and anyone could move on to the state tournament.

“It’s going to be a battle all the way to the end and it’s going to be a very competitive section tournament,” Hanson said.

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Denfeld (5-3) will host Cloquet-Carlton at 6 p.m. Monday.

Hermantown will play Esko at 7 p.m. Thursday at Centricity Stadium in Hermantown.

More from Jamey Malcomb
The three coaches graduated from the school in the early 1990s and ended up playing college football together at Valley City State in North Dakota.

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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