Minnesota Lightning hope Richmond's destiny is first-round playoff exit

Call me a sports misogynist. I've been to just one Minnesota Lightning game this year--and that was a doubleheader with the Thunder. Even then I only watched the second half. But I plan to be on hand Friday night when the second year women's soccer squad opens their playoff campaign against the Richmond Kickers Destiny at Macalester College. It's part of a playoff doubleheader. In the opening match the Atlanta Silverbacks will face the Michigan Hawks. The winners will square of on Saturday for a spot in the W-League final four. (Full details on the matches



The Lightning have put together an impressive campaign, compiling a 9-1-1 record and winning the Midwest Division of the W-League. They've routed the opposition by a combined 27-8. This despite losing their number one goalkeeper, Joanna Haig, to injury in the first game of the season. Offensively the largely homegrown squad is led by Edina native Caroline Smith. The striker has found the net ten times this year, while also dishing out six assists. Kelsey Hans is second on the scoring charts with six goals. "I think the chemistry of the players this year is great," says Lightning coach Danny Storlien "A lot of them have played together now for a second year."

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