Mankato West vs. Northfield
7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14

Northfield has assembled one of its most talented squads in years and is seeking its first trip to the state tournament in more than a decade. Perhaps the only team standing in the Raiders’ way is Mankato West, last year’s Class 1A runner-up.

Northfield not only has to battle the No. 6-1A Scarlets (4-0-1, 2-0) in Class 1A, Section 2 this season, but the Big 9 Conference title could also be at stake with this matchup. The Raiders (4-0, 3-0) rely on senior Joan Korkven, a Class 1A all-state second team selection last year. She scored 23 goals last season and has six goals in three games already. Kornkven’s complementary players this season include Clara Noack, who has three goals and five assists, and Remy Soulak, who has a goal and five assists.

Mankato West’s McKenna Buisman, a Minnesota recruit, scored 27 goals last season and leads the Scarlets' offense. Buisman had three goals in a 6-0 win over Austin on Sept. 7 and works with a cast that includes Ashley Gustavson, who scored both goals in last year’s 2-0 Section 2 championship win over Northfield.