First round dominance
The Alexandria boys' soccer team was not about to let East Grand Forks end its season at Lincoln Field as the Cardinals opened up the Section 8A tournament with a 4-1 win on Tuesday night.
Alexandria dominated the first half of play. The Cardinals pressured the Green Wave's goal for the first 40 minutes and had a 3-0 lead to show for it at halftime.
Jon Lewis got the scoring started less than five minutes into the game. He took a perfect through ball from Zac Bowman and touched the ball past the Green Wave's keeper, Josh Regorrah, before putting it into an open net.
Minutes later Bowman was rewarded with a goal of his own. Zac Van Orsdel played the ball to him right in front of the net as Bowman easily fired a shot in for a 2-0 lead.
Alexandria continued to add pressure as frustration began to mount for the Green Wave. In the 36th minute, Cody Carlson was the beneficiary of a breakaway goal that made it 3-0. Carlson ran onto a pass from Van Orsdel and sent his shot over the outstretched arms of Regorrah.
East Grand Forks came out with a sense of urgency in the second half. The Green Wave put pressure on the Cardinals' goal and it eventually led to a goal when an Alexandria player accidentally knocked a ball into his own goal to make it a 3-1 game.
"This moment seemed to wake both teams as everything seemed to become more aggressive," Cardinals head coach Dave Vinje said. "The tackles got harder, clearances became farther and players' movement increased on the field."
Alexandria put the finishing touches on the win with less than five minutes left. The Green Wave stopped a goal-scoring opportunity by Jordan Block with a handball that earned the Cardinals a penalty kick. Peter Olson stepped up and calmly sent his team's fourth goal past Regorrah to secure the win.
That set up a match-up with the top seed from the north subsection in Hillcrest-Pelican Rapids. That game was scheduled for yesterday, Thursday, at 4 p.m. The Comets came into the game with a 12-2-1 record. The winner of that game advances to the section semifinals, which will be played against the winner of Little Falls and St. Cloud Cathedral next Tuesday.