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Alex wraps up historic regular season

Junior Anna Lee sends a ball downfield during a game against Detroit Lakes on August 24. Lee leads an Alexandria defense into the playoffs that has allowed just seven goals in 16 games in the regular season. (Echo Press photo by Eric Morken)

The Alexandria girls’ soccer team put the finishing touches on the best record in program history with a 3-0 victory over St. Cloud Apollo in the season finale at Citizens Field on Monday.

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The win pushed the Cardinals’ overall record to 14-2 this season, which was the highest number of wins in the history of the program. They were undefeated at home all season and never surrendered a goal in the process. Alexandria also won the first Central Lakes Conference title in team history.

After the season wrapped up Monday, head coach Tom Roos said he was proud of the way the Cardinals have played all fall. The team had a day off on Tuesday to recover but was back to work the next day preparing for the section tournament.

“They can feel great about their accomplishments, but they also know we come back on Wednesday and start working to get better,” Roos said.

In the final game on Monday, Alexandria’s Rachel Drew scored the game’s only first-half goal off a pass from Kaila Dewanz.

In the second half, Chelsey Salto scored first for the Cardinals on a corner kick from Emily Korkowski. With less than six minutes remaining, Korkowski scored a goal of her own off a rebound from a Drew shot.

From there, the Cardinals held on for their 11th shutout this season.

Roos said there were many reasons to be excited about the Cardinals’ play this season, including their first CLC title, going undefeated against the conference, never allowing a goal at home and finishing with the best goals against average among Class A teams. But he also is focused on preparations for the section tournament.

The Cardinals were named the top seed in the 8A-North subsection and received a first round bye. Roos said the team will likely play at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Lincoln Field against the winner of Fergus Falls and Crookston.

The Cardinals will head into the game with the mentality not to overlook any of their opponents. They may be the top seed in the North, but many of the section teams have played them close. They also lost 2-0 to St. Cloud Cathedral on October 1, a team the Cardinals could run into further on in the tournament.

“We don’t take anyone for granted and we know we have to have our best game; otherwise, anyone can beat us in the section,” Roos said.

The Cardinals finished the season with a few minor injuries, but they hope to be completely healed by Saturday. The team focused on crisp play during practice this week and hopes to continue that against their section opponents.

“I think our focus is just the same as it has been all season long, just trying to prepare the best we can with our practices,” Roos said.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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