Defense has been a staple of the Alexandria girls soccer team throughout the Section 8A playoffs.
On Tuesday night, the Cardinals used that defense, anchored by the stellar play of junior goalkeeper Sarah Bruzek, to punch a ticket to the state tournament. Alexandria and Sartell matched up for the third time this season in a game that needed a shootout before the Cardinals came away with a 4-2 win on penalty kicks after playing to a scoreless tie through two overtimes.
The shot that finally clinched it came off the foot of sophomore defender Anna Lee, who placed her ball in the bottom left corner to send her team off a winner.
Bruzek and this Alexandria defense stymied a Sabres team that had beaten the Cardinals 4-1 the last time they met on October 4. It was the 10th shutout of the season for Alexandria. They took their game to another level in the playoffs, allowing just two goals in the four games, including two overtime sessions in each of the last two games.
The state tournament will take place October 29-November 1.