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End of the line for girls' soccer

The Cardinal girls' soccer team came up a little short of a trip to the Section 8A finals in a 3-1 loss to St. Cloud Apollo on Tuesday night.

The Eagles' Courtney Lynch and Katherine Rogosheske have been terrorizing teams in the Central Lakes Conference all season with their offensive ability. They did so again on Tuesday, accounting for all three of the Apollo goals.

"There's no doubt that Apollo was the stronger team," head coach Tom Roos said. "At the same time, our girls showed a lot of character in coming back on [Emily] Funk's goal. I felt we went out battling the way we had planned. Apollo had to earn that win because it certainly wasn't handed to them."

Rogosheske got things started a little more than 23 minutes into the game. She found her way to the front of the net and took a pass from Lynch in the corner before putting it away for the early lead.

Then it was Lynch's turn to get on the board. She scored before the end of the half on an unassisted goal when she won a loose ball in front of the net and put it in for a 2-0 lead.

The Eagles would add another goal before the Cardinals could get on the board. Rogosheske would once again receive a pass from Lynch in front of the net. This time she used a header to capitalize on the opportunity.

Alexandria cut into that lead with its only goal 11 minutes into the half. Beth Rindy sent a free kick off the post, and Funk was there to get the rebound and put it in the back of the net.

The 3-0 deficit was just too much to overcome against a good team like Apollo. The defending section champions advanced to the finals to face East Grand Forks for the second straight season.

Alexandria finished the year with a 10-8 record.

"It's always tough when a season comes to an end," Roos said. "This season certainly had its highs and lows. We didn't finish as high in the conference as we had hoped. At the same time, we had some great accomplishments. We beat every team in the conference except Apollo.

"We are the only CLC team to beat Brainerd in three years, and we had victories against the three Class AA schools on our schedule (St. Cloud Tech, Brainerd, Buffalo). Certainly the toughest part of a season's end is knowing that a great group of seniors will no longer be playing in the program."

That list of graduation seniors is long for the Cardinals. A total of 14 girls will be lost after this year. Catherine Keenan, Solveig Hansen, Gracie Bruzek, Kate Gearman, Nikki Hammond, Beth Rindy, Michelle Anez, Ally Nielsen, Olivia Rice, Liz Flynn, Alexis Nielson, Sam Berglin, Erin Korkowski and Beth Rindy have all played their last games for Alexandria.

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