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Boys soccer: Cardinals fall 3-0 after 11-minute flurry

Alexandria junior Jacob Meuwissen looks upfield after chasing down a loose ball in the first half of Tuesday's 3-0 loss to Sartell-St. Stephen at AAHS. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)1 / 3
Alexandria senior keeper Zach Wosepka (2) gears up for a throw in the first half of Tuesday's 3-0 loss to Sartell-St. Stephen at AAHS. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)2 / 3
Alexandria senior Joseph Westlund (12) makes a pass through traffic in the first half of Tuesday's 3-0 loss to Sartell-St. Stephen at AAHS. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)3 / 3

The Alexandria boys soccer team managed to hang around with Sartell-St. Stephen for a while on Tuesday, but the Sabres dominated much of the match because of Ouceny Soumah.

The senior Sabre wreaked havoc on the Cardinals, culminating on two perfect corner kicks that set up second-half goals in Sartell-St. Stephen’s 3-0 win at AAHS.

“He places the ball so nicely,” Alex head coach Cahil Collins said of Soumah. “Seven yards out -- far enough where the goalkeeper really can’t get out there, but close enough where any (shot) is just lethal.”

All three Sabre goals came after halftime, which proved fatal for Alexandria despite a much better effort out of the break.

“We got a little more organized,” Collins said of adjustments at the half. “People were playing more in their position, so when someone got beat, we were able to step in until the other player could recover and get in position.”

Nevertheless, Soumah helped get Sartell-St. Stephen on the board in the 57th minute. His corner kick found the head of Grayson Sanderson in the box, and Sanderson went bar-down on the crossbar for the game’s opening goal.

Eight minutes later, Soumah again set up a teammate for a header. This time, Ben Elness went off the post and in for a 2-0 lead. To add the finishing touches, Mohannad Alkhatib sent a laser from the top of the box into the back of the net after Alex keeper Zach Wosepka tried to clear a loose ball with a punch in the 68th minute.

Nevertheless, the Cardinals had their chances, too.

In the first half’s closing seconds -- still in a scoreless tie -- Joshua Kietzmann broke through the back line and had a look on goal to steal a lead. His shot hit the left post, however, and Alexandria entered halftime in a 0-0 game that Sartell-St. Stephen had dominated throughout.

JJ Foster had a couple chances early on in the second half to help the Cards quickly level the playing field. Alex ran out on a few counter attacks, too, but nothing connected as the Sabres scored the three deciding goals in an 11-minute flurry.

“They played hard, they worked hard, they never gave up. They just kept playing hard,” Collins said of his team. “We had one shot that went off the post, another one that went off the crossbar. Those two go in, and it’s a totally different game.

“We’ll have to go in and talk about how to defend a corner kick better. Hopefully, next time, it can be a little bit different game.”

Alexandria will return to the pitch at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30, at Sauk Rapids-Rice.

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.

(320) 763-1230
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