St. Paul United opens season with 11-2 win over Rochester Mayo



An 11-2 score usually indicates a very lopsided game. That was not the case Nov. 5 for St. Paul United when they opened their season against the Rochester Mayo Spartans. While they won the game 11-2, United was thoroughly outplayed for 25 minutes by Mayo. United, a co-op between St. Paul Academy and Visitation, got dominated in terms of shooting and time of possession for the first half of the game. The two goals they got in that time were very much against the play.

The turning point of the game came at 11:41 into the second period when senior Sena Hanson walked on out from behind the net, leaving the defense in her wake to set up a wide open shot in the slot. Which Hanson rocketed right above the Mayo goalie’s shoulder. From that point on, United outshot Mayo 24-1, and outscored them 8-0.

In the first period and the early goings of the second, Mayo was able to put pressure on United, similar to many times last year. “Our weakness last year was our first period,” senior goalie Catherine Johnson said, “Getting our feet moving was a big problem.” Johnson kept United in the game making big save after big save. “I had a lot of trust in my teammates,” she said, “I knew that if kept the net empty, they were going to breakthrough.”

Additionally, United could not stay out of the penalty box. Sophomore Olivia Williams-Ridge began the parade to the penalty box at 7:44 of the first period, which led to a tying powerplay goal from Mayo sophomore Eryn Fjelstad. Next to the box was junior Lauren Boettcher, this time United scored a shorthanded goal to take a 2-1 lead. Almost immediately after Boettcher minor was killed off, Sena Hanson drilled a Mayo forward into the boards which left her on the ice for several minutes, and Hanson in the penalty box for five.

After Hanson’s second period goal, it all changed. No United player returned to the penalty box. Catherine Johnson barely had to make a save. “Everyone got really pumped after that goal,” Hanson said, “Once everyone was hyped and pumped that’s when the goals started coming in.”

Visitation Sophomore Samantha Burke made her mark all across the score sheet with a four goal two assist night, and Vis freshman Catherine Kerin lit the lamp three times and got two assists as well. Hanson and junior Lauren Boettcher led the way for the SPA skaters, both getting three points, Hanson with her second period goal that changed the tide for the game, and Boettcher with three assists.

United plays next tomorrow at South Saint Paul, the team United lost to in their section final game last season. “That game has really motivated us,” Johnson said, “It is what every girl on the team had been thinking about since last season.” The game is 7pm at Wakota Ice Arena