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Girls' soccer: Cardinal start strong in win

Eric Morken, Echo Press Alexandria senior Mikayla Lucas controlled the ball in front of a Detroit Lakes defender on Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Field. Lucas scored twice for Alexandria as the Cardinals ran past the Lakers 6-0 in their season opener.

The Alexandria girls' soccer team dominated in all facets of the game to coast to a 6-0 win in its season opener on Saturday.

The Cardinals got things going by jumping out early on Detroit Lakes. Mikayla Lucas opened the scoring just four minutes in as she took a pass from Jesslyn Fearing and took two touches before blasting a ball past the Lakers' keeper. It was exactly the start the Alexandria coaching staff was looking for from its team.

"We had talked about controlling the first five minutes to help us set the tone for the rest of the match," assistant coach Thomas Smith said. "And to their credit, that is exactly what our girls did."

Rachel Drew set up the second Alexandria score almost 10 minutes later. The sophomore forward headed a ball into the box that junior Gabby Koel beat the Detroit Lakes defenders to before putting it in for a 2-0 lead.

The Cardinals knew it was their day after the third goal of the first half. Lakers' keeper Courtney Gray tried to clear a ball near her own net when her kick went directly off a Detroit Lakes defender. The ball deflected all the way back and into the net as Alexandria celebrated the 3-0 lead.

The Cardinals never let up in the second half. Lucas scored her second goal of the day on another long shot before Lauren Trumm and Koel put the finishing touches on things with goals down the stretch.

Sophomore goalie Sarah Bruzek got the win in net. She was helped by an Alexandria defense that never let the Lakers gain much momentum going toward the net.

"What is missing in this offensive [outburst] is how completely the Cardinal defense shut down a potent Laker attack throughout the game," Smith said. "The back line of Heidi Krueger, Ashley Vandeveur, Megan Abrahamson and Madison Edmonds was flawless. Sarah Bruzek controlled the box and gave no rebounds to earn her first shutout of 2011."

Alexandria will try to open up the Central Lakes Conference season on a positive note when it travels to Willmar tomorrow, Thursday. The Cardinals will be back home next Tuesday against Brainerd.

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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