The Minnesota Lightning will change their home venue from cozy Elizabeth Robbie Stadium to the spacious confines of the National Sports Center, home of the Minnesota Thunder, for the 2009 season.
The Minnesota Lightning kick off the 2009 season at home on Friday at 7:05 p.m. in a heads up brawl against FC Indiana Lionesses at the National Sports Center in Blaine. The team will begin their season with a three-game home stretch. After the game with Indiana, Minnesota hosts the West Michigan Firewomen Sunday May 31, at 2:35 p.m. All who attend Sunday’s game are invited to stick around to watch the Thunder take on the Puerto Rico Islanders at 5:05 p.m. One ticket is good for both games.
About the Lightning:
The Lightning is looking forward to their fourth season within the USL W-League, and after two appearances in the playoffs, the Lightning is determined to have another successful season. Head Coach Dan Storlien has put together another competitive roster.
The women of the Lightning are looking to bounce back from the 2008 campaign as they failed to qualify for the playoffs. The team was founded in 2006 and they performed very well for the first two years. They made it to the conference semifinals in 2006 and in 2007 the Lightning won the division and made it to the Midwest finals before losing to the Atlanta Silverbacks.
The Lightning will be playing their home games at the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN. This is also the home for their brother team the Minnesota Thunder. The Lightning has a strong veteran line-up and a batch of eager newcomers and they are ready to make their name highly recognized in the competitive W-League.
The coach of the Lightning is Dan Storlien. He is the first and only coach that the Lightning has ever seen. The experienced youth coach holds several coaching licenses, USSF A, NSCAA Premier, and USSF National Youth Licenses. Storlien has ended each season in the top three for the Midwest division of the USL W-League and he is ready to lead the team to another winning season.
This years team features 7 current of former University of Minnesota women soccer players.
About the Lionesses:
Indiana has already kicked off their season. They are holding a record of 1-0-0 for the 2009 campaign. They got their start in the Women’s Premier Soccer League before making the upgrade to the USL W-League in 2008. Their inaugural campaign in the USL W-League was a massive success. FC Indiana succeeded in winning the Midwest division and they made it all the way to the National Finals. They lost the championship to the Pali Blues with a score of 2-1.
The head coach for FC Indiana is Shek Borkowski. He has coached the team since the beginning and will continue to lead the ladies again this year. He consistently coaches the team to the upper end of the Midwest division. Every year, be it in the WPSL or the USL W-League, he has lead a winning team. While being with FC Indiana, he has won the division every year except for in 2006 when the team took third.
The team is full of talented players but as for the 2009 campaign the standout woman is Laura Del Rio. The Spanish native already has three goals and she is leading the team with six points.
About the Firewomen:
The Firewomen are looking to have their breakout season this year. Historically, West Michigan has been consistently in the lower end of the Midwest division of the USL W-League. The women have played two games in the 2009 campaign so far but they have yet to get their first win with a record of 0-2-0. They are coming off of a crippling defeat against the Chicago Red Eleven. The game ended with Chicago winning 7-0. The Firewomen are going to try to exact revenge against Chicago on Wednesday, May 27 before they travel to Minnesota to take on the Lightning.
In 2008, West Michigan hired Neathan Gibson to lead the Firewomen as their head coach. He has coached at the international level as well as several USL teams including Rochester Rhinos, Des Moines Menace and West Michigan Edge.
The player that is leading the team, with two points, is Forward/Midfielder Laura Heyboer. She has the only goal scored for the team and that came in their season opener against the Kalamazoo Outrage. Kalamazoo ended up winning the game 3-1 but Heyboer started the season off on a high note.
Minnesota Lightning’s 2009 Roster:
Megan Almanzo, New Hope, MN, University of Connecticut
Mallory Beck, Johnston, IA, West Virginia University
Amanda Clark, Naperville, IL, Notre Dame
Jennie Clark, Norwalk, IA, University of Minnesota
Chelsea Cline, Des Moines, IA, UCLA
Ann Gleason, Stillwater, MN, Iowa State
Kelsey Hans, Lakeville, MN, Northwestern
Kelsey Hood, Ankeny, IA, University of Minnesota
Sarah Johnson, Shorewood, MN, Dartmouth
Krystle Kallman, Woodbury, MN, West Virginia University
Kylie Kallman, Woodbury, MN, University of Minnesota
Rosie Malone-Povolny, Saint Paul, MN, Marquette University
Sarah Melhorn, White Bear Lake, MN, Valparaiso University
Emily Orbell, White Bear Lake, MN, Creighton University
Marissa Price, Apple Valley, MN, University of Minnesota
Emily Redberg, Brooklyn Park, MN, University of Tenessee
Lindsey Schwartz, Bettendorf, IA, University of Minnesota
Caroline Smith, Edina, MN, University of Kansas
Josie Solie, Mahtomedi, MN, University of Minnesota
Kaitlin Wagner, Plymouth, MN, University of Minnesota