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Senior attacker Sydney Barnige, left, has helped Apple Valley get off to an unbeaten start. Photo by Jon Laqua

Apple Valley figured to be the “Katie Larson Show” this year. You know, give the ball to the 70-goal scorer from last season and watch her go.

It hasn’t quite worked out that way, thanks to what has so far been a perfect blend of youth and experience. 

Youth? Let’s start with eighth-grade scoring phenom Reagan Roelofs, who has amassed 15 goals and 10 assists for a team-best 25 points. Roelofs hasn’t exactly emerged from nowhere. She did, after all, score 24 goals as a seventh-grader a year ago. 

Experience? Senior Blayr Thompson is the top goal scorer with 20 through the Eagles’ first five games, all victories. That’s the same goal total she had last year in 15 games.

Meanwhile Larson, a senior, is as dangerous as ever. She has 19 goals despite facing constant double- and triple-team defenses. 

Apple Valley’s quest for the South Suburban Conference title faces its biggest challenge yet in Prior Lake, the only other remaining unbeaten team in league play.

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