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Alexandria girls' soccer: Cards win double overtime thriller

The Cardinal girls' soccer team persevered through overtime before taking down second-seeded St. Cloud Cathedral with just seconds to spare in the Section 8A tournament on Saturday.

The win for Alexandria punched its ticket to the section semifinals, where the Cardinals were scheduled to play last night, Tuesday, against East Grand Forks.

The Cardinals avoided having to decide the game through penalty kicks by five seconds on Saturday. The Cardinals were on the attack on the right side with Cathedral collapsing in on the ball side. That's when senior Jesslyn Fearing sent a cross over to Anna Carlsen, who finished it with a touch shot from 15 yards out.

That ended a comeback win for this team that saw the Cardinals battle back from an early 1-0 deficit. Cathedral got on the board just 30 seconds into the game on a goal from Ellie Engel.

That's how things went into the second half before Alexandria got the equalizer. Junior Anna Spanbauer had two goals in the opening round win over St. John's Prep. This time, she assisted on an important goal as she sent a corner kick into the box that was finished by sophomore Anna Lee.

A stingy Cardinals' defense led by junior Sarah Bruzek in goal kept things in a tie game until those final seconds. Alexandria outshot St. Cloud 5-2 in overtime, but one of those Cathedral shots required a great save by Bruzek.

"The second biggest play of OT came with minutes remaining when a ball was sent in towards the Alex goal," head coach Tom Roos said, "putting Cathedral's striker behind the Alex defense and in a foot race for the ball. Sarah Bruzek made the save of the game when she came out to make a diving save against a charging Cathedral attacker."

That helped punch this team's ticket to the semifinals where Alexandria was playing for a shot in the title game, which will take place on Thursday. A win over East Grand Forks would advance the Cardinals to play the winner of Detroit Lakes and Sartell-St. Stephen tomorrow night.