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Section 8A boys soccer: Cardinals fall just short at Hillcrest

The second and third seeds in the Section 8A-North playoffs met in Fergus Falls on Saturday, and it was as close as one might expect between the Hillcrest Lutheran Academy and Alexandria boys soccer teams.

The Comets have put together a strong season at 16-2, and they extended it at least one more game by coming away with a 5-4 win.

Hillcrest jumped on the Cardinals early with goals in the fourth and 13th minutes. Alexandria responded from the slow start with a connection from Cameron Rice and JJ Foster for two goals. Rice first found Foster in the 26th minute as Foster finished it to make it 2-1. That same connection worked again four minutes later as Foster evened things at two apiece.

Alexandria took its first lead 13 minutes into the second half when Rice got in on the scoring himself. He took a pass from Jack Hilbrands and made it a 3-2 Cardinals' advantage.

The Comets answered with three straight goals to take a lead they never relinquished. Alexandria's Joshua Kietzmann found Michael Kuhn for a late goal for the Cardinals, but they couldn't find the equalizer in the closing minutes. Zach Wosepka took the loss in net for Alexandria against a Hillcrest team that averages almost seven goals per game.

"(He) did an outstanding job," Alexandria head coach Cahil Collins said of Wosepka. "I am very proud of the boys and the never-say-die attitude and the way they fought to the very last second of the game. It was a pleasure to coach this fine bunch of young men."

The Cardinals finished with a 10-7-1 overall record. They were fourth in the Central Lakes Conference this year at 7-4-1.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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