Girls soccer: Cards battle through OT but fall in shootout in playoff opener
No. 6 seeded Alexandria led for nearly all of regulation time Thursday night but a late goal by Anna Payne sent the match to overtime and eventually to penalty kicks where No. 3 Detroit Lakes made three attempts to the Cardinals’ two and advanced to the second round of the Section 8A playoffs after a 2-1 victory at Rotary Soccer Park.
DL junior Matteya Borah gave the Lakers a 3-1 lead in penalties in what would prove to be the game-winning goal.
“I was really nervous at first, but I thought about practice and how I’ve been doing really well lately,” said Borah. “I knew I could do it and my teammates were really helping me out. I just had a big smile on my face. I was just so happy it went in.”
Payne and Hailey Eggebraaten traded scores in the first round. Payne’s went in off the outstretched right hand of Alex keeper Sophia Vinje, a seventh-grader who was stellar in net all night for the Cardinals. Eggebraaten rang her shot off the pipe and in.
DL’s Megan Noel had a solid boot that rang off the post and out but Alex could not capitalize when Kaye Paschka’s attempt went wide right.
“They executed a little better than we did,” Alexandria head coach Tom Roos said.
In stepped DL’s Lauren Tschider and she roofed her shot where Vinje had no chance at a save. DL keeper Payton Carlblom came up big on the next Cardinal attempt from Kelsea Haugen to preserve a 2-1 Laker lead.
Borah gave Carlblom some breathing room with her goal and 3-1 advantage.
The Cardinals’ Molly Panther took that away quickly with her successful attempt and Vinje lunged right to take a goal away from Anna Jones and preserve the season for one final shot to tie with DL leading 3-2.
“She played tremendously well,” Roos said of Vinje. “I’m proud of the way we played and DL is a really strong team, not many teams have shut them out.”
Carlblom slid to the post on McKenna Ellingson’s final kick and had the low corner covered as Ellingson’s kick trickled wide left.
“Alex wanted it more in the first half and I’m glad we got that one goal because I knew it would come down to this; it does every year,” said Carlblom.
The Lakers and Cardinals met in a playoff shootout in 2014 after a scoreless regulation with DL pulling that game out 3-2 in PKs as well. Last season, Alex erased a two-goal deficit with a last minute goal and ended DL’s season in a shootout.
“I felt we represented our school really well and played a great effort,” said Roos. “If that game is played 10 times, DL is going to win five of them and we’re going to win five. It was that good of a match-up.”
Hannah Quitmeyer gave Alexandria a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute on a rebound off Carlblom, but the Cardinals were six-inches away from a one-goal lead just seconds into the game when a Paschka shot bounced off the crossbar and over the net.
“That’s been a bit of the story of our season,” said Roos. “I kept waiting for the good luck and breaks to come and we didn’t get them. That’s sports.”
The Cardinals controlled play early and kept the Lakers on their heels in the first half. Jones had the Lakers’ best attempt to score on a solid cross by Nicole Swanson but Jones’ tip bounced wide right.
“I think we psyched ourselves out a bit, but we got better,” Borah said. “We had to pick it up, better passes, switch the field.”
DL made a quick bid for a tie score six minutes into the second half when Tschider found Swanson at the left post but her shot went wide of the target.
“We really just had to kick it into gear and didn’t want our season to end,” said Payne. “We had to do everything we could.”
Play was more physical in the second half with player collisions on both ends, elbows being thrown and the crowd got rowdier as the minutes began to tick away in DL’s season.
“We’re definitely rivals; they’ve definitely taken it to us before,” Payne said.
“I knew we were going to come back,” Carlblom said.
In the 60th minute, Payne appeared to do that when her header dropped into the net behind Vinje but the play was offside.
Payne charged the net and collided with Vinje two minutes later as the Alex keeper came out and took Payne out sending her tumbling while Vinje secured the ball and the lead.
Carlblom made a tremendous save in the 67th minute to keep the score a one-goal game and the Laker offense stormed down the field.
Payne finally got her goal in the 71st minute beating Vinje with a shot just inside the post.
The two players met again with momentum in overtime and Payne received a yellow for another collision with Vinje and sat out the last half of the opening 10-minute session.
Ava Steinmetz had back-to-back corner kicks in the first OT and Borah had a shot from the top of the box that Vinje saved at the 10-minute horn.
The Cardinals had two corners in the second OT to the Lakers’ one.
Alex finishes the season with a 3-14 mark but played far better than that record indicates.
DL improves to 11-6 and will face No. 2 Bemidji (11-5) Saturday, Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Bemidji State University.
“We just need to bring our intensity and play our game right away and I think we can take it to them,” Payne said.
The Jacks defeated Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/CL-B by a score of 7-0 to advance and have beaten DL twice this year 4-0 in DL and 2-1 in overtime at home.
“We’re ready to take it to them,” Carlblom said. “They think we’re just a walkover, easy team. We’re going to prove them wrong.”