Posted On: 09/4/19 9:28 PM
When Lehigh University rolls into Minneapolis on Saturday, Dec. 21 the Mountain Hawks will have six – that’s right six! – Minnesotans on their roster. The Patriot League squad from Pennsylvania won’t be the only visiting team bringing home-grown talent to Williams Arena this winter. The University of Minnesota women unveiled their complete 2019-20 schedule on Wednesday and no less than two dozen locals will be suiting up for visiting teams.
Lehigh has been on a recruiting rampage in Minnesota over the past few years as Associate Head Coach Glenn Rigney has racked up countless frequent flier points running back and forth from Bethlehem to the Twin Cities. The player who started the trend was point guard Hannah Hedstrom of Minnetonka, who is now a senior at the school. The Hawks’ roster also includes junior forward Mariah Sexe of East Ridge, sophomore guard Megan Walker of Minnetonka, sophomore forward Emma Grothaus of Mathtomedi and a pair of freshmen – point guard Anna Harvey of Lakeville South and forward Frannie Hottinger of Cretin-Derham Hall. Mackenzie Kramer of St. Michael-Albertville will probably be in the house, too, since the top 5 player in the Prep Girls Hoops Class of 2020 has already committed to Lehigh.
Montana State will bring four Minnesotans to the Barn on Nov. 23 while Wisconsin will do the same on Jan. 22. Milwaukee’s lineup has two players from the Twin Cities as does Arizona State and Nebraska. Iowa sort of has two – sophomore post Monika Czinano of Watertown-Mayer as well as sophomore guard Tomi Taiwo, who started her high school career at Roseville before the family relocated to Indianapolis.
In addition the Gophers will play three teams on the road that feature local products: American University (Sophomore forward Taylor Brown of Lakeville North); George Washington (Sophomore guard Maddie Loder of Orono); and Michigan State (Senior forward Nia Hollie of Hopkins). The Gophers lineup, of course, will also has a new home-grown athlete in Stillwater point guard Sara Scalia, who was the 2nd-ranked player in the 2019 class.
Here is the home schedule in its entirety with each team’s Minnesota players included.
- Tuesday 5th vs Missouri State – None. Unfortunately guard Danielle Gitzen of Chanhassen graduated last spring after an outstanding career.
- Sunday 10th vs Vermont – Senior post Hanna Crymble of Champlin Park. 2020 post Anna Olson of Monticello has committed to the Catamounts.
- Thursday 14th vs Milwaukee – Senior forward Lizzie Odegard (Minnetonka) and sophomore forward Megan Walstad (Eastview)
- Sunday 17th vs Arizona State – Senior guard Kiara Russell (Osseo) and senior forward Jamie Ruden (Rochester John Marshall)
- Saturday 23rd vs Montana State – Senior forward Martha Kuderer (Chanhassen), sophomore forward Gabby Mocchi (Champlin Park), redshirt freshman guard Sidney Zieske (Waconia) and freshman guard Kenzie Stumne (Forest Lake). Junior guard Tori Martell of Somerset, Wisc. played for Minnesota AAU teams. The Bobcats also have 2020 commitments from Rosemount forward Taylor Janssen and Simley guard Sydney Stensgard.
- Tuesday 26th vs Bryant – none
- Sunday 15th vs UC Davis – none
- Saturday 21st vs Lehigh – Senior guard Hannah Hedstrom (Minnetonka), junior forward Mariah Sexe (East Ridge), sophomore forward Emma Grothaus (Mahtomedi), sophomore guard Megan Walker (Minnetonka), freshman guard Anna Harvey (Lakeville South) and freshman forward Frannie Hottinger (Cretin-Derham Hall).
- Tuesday 31st vs Ohio State – none
- Thursday 9th vs Northwestern – Senior forward Abi Scheid (Elk River)
- Thursday 16th vs Iowa – Sophomore forward Monika Czinano (Watertown-Mayer). The Hawkeyes have a commitment from 2020 #2 Lauren Jensen of Lakeville North.
- Wednesday 22nd vs Wisconsin – Senior guard Suzanne Gilreath (Fridley), senior forward Courtney Fredrickson (Minnetonka), redshirt freshman forward Carmen Backes (Chisago Lakes) and freshman post Sara Stapleton (Centennial)
- Thursday 30th vs Nebraska – Sophomore guard Sam Haiby (Moorhead) and sophomore post Kayla Mershon (Minnetonka). The Cornhuskers have a commitment from 2020 post Annika Stewart of Wayzata.
- Sunday 2nd vs Rutgers – none
- Monday 10th vs Michigan – none
- Sunday 22nd vs Indiana – none
- Sunday 1st vs Maryland – Freshman Zoe Young of Des Moines is a North Tartan AAU alum.
Top photo: Chanhassen graduate Martha Kuderer returns home with Montana State on Nov. 23 as the Bobcats visit Williams Arena to play the University of Minnesota. (Photo courtesy of Montana State Athletics)