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Girls soccer: Wave wipe out Alex comeback in 3-2 final

Alexandria senior Kaye Paschka (right) holds off East Grand Forks defender Sydney Sayler as they fight for position in the first half of Thursday's 3-2 loss at AAHS. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)1 / 5
Alexandria junior Anna Zwilling follows through on a corner kick in the first half of Thursday's 3-2 loss at AAHS. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)2 / 5
Alexandria sophomore Georgia Reemts controls the ball and surveys the defense in the first half of Thursday's 3-2 loss at AAHS. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)3 / 5
Alexandria junior Sidney Drew controls the ball before it goes out of bounds in the first half of Thursday's 3-2 loss at AAHS. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)4 / 5
Alexandria sophomore Myah Kremer tries to get past East Grand Forks forward Brynn Hillman in the first half of Thursday's 3-2 loss at AAHS. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)5 / 5

The Alexandria girls soccer team had to balance the excitement of a new season with the disappointment of a late, 3-2 loss to East Grand Forks at AAHS on Thursday.

“I told the girls that the season is a work in progress. It’s not one snapshot, one game,” head coach Tom Roos said. “We saw things that we like, we saw things that we can improve on. Now we are in the growth mindset: Can we continue to improve, continue to get better and develop as the season goes on?”

In the 75th minute, Cardinal goalkeeper Sophia Vinje made a diving, full-extension save on a low kick to her right that preserved a 2-2 tie. But less than 30 seconds later, she was called for a foul inside the box while fighting for position. It awarded EGF (1-0) a penalty kick, and Chloe Torgerson buried a goal in the same spot that Vinje had come up with the save just moments before.

“My point in discussing the play with the referee was that the goalkeeper is simply moving to get into position to play defense, and sometimes people run into each other,” Roos said of the call. “But that’s the way it is. That’s the nature of a season. Sometimes calls are going to go your way, sometimes they won’t. This one did not, and we move on.”

The late goal spoiled a comeback by Alexandria (0-1), where the Cards trailed 2-0 but ultimately worked back into a 2-2 tie.

Macy Skyberg put the Green Wave on the board when she found the back of the net off a Kora Jordheim cross in the sixth minute. Brynn Hillman tallied another for East Grand Forks in the 30th minute, breaking through the defense and putting up a 2-0 difference.

“Both of their goals came on very correctable mistakes,” said Roos. “We were creating some offensive opportunities, so (we knew) there was no reason we couldn’t clean a couple things up and continue to create opportunities and get back in the game.”

Although EGF controlled much of the tempo, chances still surfaced for Alexandria. The Cardinals broke through for the first time when Anna Zwilling snuck in a goal on a modified corner, using the crafty shot to beat a tight angle in the 36th minute.

The goal gave AAHS energy entering halftime, but they couldn’t capitalize with the equalizer past a stout EGF defense.

The Cardinals finally found their chance in the 64th minute, as East Grand Forks turned the ball over on a messy clearance attempt in its own box. Hailey Eggebraaten was in position to pick up the loose ball, and she finished with a top-shelf snipe to level the game at 2-all.

The tie was short-lived, however, as Torgerson buried the PK goal to silence the Alexandria rally underneath the 3-2 final.

Vinje finished with 13 saves for AAHS, while Cat Gordon had nine for the Green Wave.

Roos said he was happy to see the fight his team showed in the season opener.

“I think that’s a great sign,” he said. “The season starts fresh and you have opportunities to determine what kind of character a team is going to have. To be down 2-0 and come back to tie it up at 2-2, that would be a good sign of character. I’m very pleased with that.”

Alexandria will return to the pitch at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25, in Detroit Lakes.

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Echo Press in Alexandria. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Alexandria area sports updates and jokes he thinks are funny.

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