Alexandria girls' soccer: Warriors, Crusaders defeat CardsAlexandria was unable to score in either game
It was a battle, but one that finished in Brainerd’s favor as the Warriors edged Alexandria 1-0 to stay unbeaten in the Central Lakes Conference girls’ soccer title race.
“The top two teams in the CLC matched up and Brainerd came away the winner in a hard fought battle,” said Cardinal head coach Tom Roos.
Both teams put on a defensive show and it wasn’t until there were just nine minutes remaining in the first half that Brainerd’s Emily Beltran scored the only goal of the game.
“Beltran scored the only goal on a rip from 25 yards out,” said Roos. “This girl is one of the top offensive players in the conference.
“Meghan Abrahamson, with a little help from Taylor Ellingson, had the tough job of shutting this girl down,” he said. “They did a great job of limiting her chances, but Beltran took advantage of having just a second to set up from a long way out and delivered a perfect shot to score the only goal.”
The Cardinals also had a few chances to score in both the first and second halves of the game, but couldn’t quite nail it down.
“With four minutes left in the game, Gabby Koel brought the ball down on the left side and blasted an almost perfect shot off the crossbar,” said the coach. “With three and a half minutes left, an Anna Spanbauer corner kick led to a scrum in front of the Brainerd goal. Anna Lee got a foot on the ball and got a shot off, only to have it hit the post.
“I couldn’t have been more proud of how this team played and battled,” Roos said. “Soccer is a fickle game and last night was proof. Sometimes, despite an awesome effort, the difference between winning and losing can be a matter of inches.
“Annie Schneiderhan played a great game at defense, along with strong games by Abrahamson and Ellingson in handling a tough marking assignment.
“Even though the goalkeeper saves were almost even,” noted Roos. “Alex had a definite edge in offensive play and shots taken.”
Sarah Bruzek made seven saves in goal for the Cardinals, while Heather Campbell made six for the Warriors.
The Cardinals hosted St. Cloud Tech last night, Tuesday, and will now be at Sartell tomorrow, Thursday.
ST. CLOUD CATHEDRAL 3, ALEXANDRIA 0
Alexandria’s girls’ soccer team hoped to rebound against St. Cloud Cathedral on Saturday after a 1-0 loss to Brainerd, but couldn’t seem to find a way to combat the Crusaders, falling 3-0.
The Crusaders are 7-0-1 in the Granite Ridge Conference and 10-2-1 overall, while the Cardinals fell to 7-4-1 overall and are now 6-2-1 in Central Lakes Conference play.
“The Cards were coming off an emotional 1-0 loss in a well-played battle against Brainerd,” said head coach Tom Roos. “Shots taken were pretty even on the night, with Gabby Koel leading that offensive stat for the Cards.
“However, Cathedral got a much higher percentage of their shots on goal. Alex goalkeeper Sarah Bruzek came up with nine saves on the afternoon, while Cathedral’s goalkeeper Mo Schroeder was forced to make only four saves.
Senior Cia Strong scored in the first half for the Crusaders, who led 1-0 at the half, with junior Caitlin McMorrow and senior Katrina Nelson scoring in the second half. It was the first varsity goal for both McMorrow and Nelson.