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The 2014 high school soccer season kicks off

A sign that summer is winding down. The fall high school sports season gets underway Thursday with the start of varsity soccer.

The St. Louis Park Orioles begin their season on the road as they travel to Plymouth to take on the Armstrong Falcons. First up, a preview of the Oriole girls.

The Orioles are a young team under the veteran leadership of Benji Kent (whose son Maxwell plays on the boys team). They only have three seniors on their roster, Anna Huber, Maddy Bremner and Becca Brubaker. But St. Louis Park has a long of young talent for the future with seven sophomores and two freshman. In addition to their inaugural Metro West Conference schedule, the Orioles also have non conference games with Minneapolis South, Roseville, Simley and Minneapolis Southwest before playing their first game against a metro West opponent September 8 at Chaska. Their toughest opponent this season is on Tuesday, September 23 against the defending state Class A champion Benilde-St. Margaret's Red Knights. BSM is the early season number one team in Class A and has nine seniors that could lead the Red Knights to a trip up I-94 to St. Cloud in October. They open up against Rochester Lourdes tonight and on the 23rd they battle the Blake Bears.

As for the Oriole girls, can they finish in the middle of the Metro West pack or can their young talent surprise fans in their inaugural Metro West season?

Now on to the St. Louis Park boys. Head coach Chato Alvarado has a veteran team with 10 seniors, including John Kinney, Daniel Decker and Conor Bellingham. They also return their veteran goalkeeper, junior Eric Hendricks. With a veteran team, the orioles are ranked ninth in the preseason Class AA rankings. Following their season opener against Armstrong, St. Louis Park opens their home season on Saturday, August 23 against the Wayzata Trojans at 1 PM. It's a rematch of last season's Section 6AA semifinals where the Orioles were eliminated by the Trojans. In their inaugural Metro West Conference season, the Orioles will contend with the Benilde St. Margaret's Red Knights and the Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars, under the veteran leadership of head coach Danny Storlien.

It should be an interesting high school soccer season in St. Louis Park. Get outside and enjoy the action.

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