Soccer roundup: Alexandria girls, boys both get important wins over St. Cloud Tech
Both matches featured top teams in the Section 8AA field as the Alexandria boys and girls combined to shut out the Tigers on Tuesday.
ST. CLOUD — The Alexandria girls soccer team continued its march toward the playoffs as the Cardinals avenged their lone loss of the season on Tuesday by going to St. Cloud Tech and beating the Tigers in a 2-0 game.
Tech had won by that same score in Alexandria on Sept. 8. It took just 10 minutes into the rematch for the Cardinals (13-1) to score. Elle Heydt sent in a well-placed corner kick. The Tigers’ keeper deflected the ball off the crossbar, and senior Ella Westlund was there to put in the goal for Alexandria.
That 1-0 advantage is how things went into the half. Camree Miller scored after the break to make it 2-0. Allie Haabala collected the assist on that goal.
Impressive numbers continue to pile up for the Cardinals as they posted their 11th shutout. They have allowed just five goals all season. Senior goalkeeper Sophia Vinje needed to make just four saves in the win over the Tigers.
“Our defensive unit continues to be strong, but I’ve been impressed with the way our offense is finding ways to score,” Alexandria head coach Amy Korynta said. “We have lots of different players getting goals and assists. It’s a very balanced, even attack. We have speed. We have intensity and girls who are able to cross the ball nicely. We have players who can find those tiny little seams and thread passes through.”
Alexandria averages just over four goals per game.
“Alexa Eggebraaten and Elle Heydt have done an outstanding job all season as center midfielders and continue to grow stronger and stronger in their field vision,” Korynta said. “Sophia Korynta, Ella Westlund, Morgan Jones and Mackenzie Jurchenko have done a nice job as our two main attackers up front, using their speed but also really using their outside midfielders and working on developing some combination plays. It’s nice that we don’t have to rely on just one way to score and one way to attack.”
Alexandria has climbed all the way to No. 3 in the Class AA ranking through the QRF on Minnesota-scores.net. The Cardinals are headed toward a top seed in the Section 8AA field, with East Grand Forks (No. 9 QRF) and St. Cloud Tech (No. 18 QRF) behind them in the pecking order during the last week of the regular season.
“We have defenders who get involved (offensively),” coach Korynta said. “Ellen Panther does an exceptionally strong job of getting involved with the attack. Greta Oldenkamp gets involved. We just have so many weapons on offense. We are strong on the outside mids. We have Allie Habaala and Camree Miller that have dynamic speed. Emma Ramstorf and Brenna Eggebraaten have done a great job as new varsity players learning their positions and growing stronger and stronger on those outside mid roles.”
The Cardinals have one regular-season game left, and it will be for a share of the Central Lakes Conference title. Sartell-St. Stephen (13-0-1) comes to AAHS on Thursday night at 7. The Sabres are 8-0 in the CLC, while the Cardinals are 8-1.
Alexandria boys shut out Tigers
The Alexandria boys soccer team also got a big section and conference win over St. Cloud Tech on Tuesday.
Both the Cardinals (8-4-2) and Tigers (7-5-1) are right behind St. Cloud Apollo in the Section 8AA standings, and Alexandria beat Tech 1-0 in a game that could be important for getting that second seed in the playoffs. These two teams tied 1-1 on Sept. 8.
“This match was the true definition of why we call this sport the beautiful game,” Alexandria head coach Brandon Johnson said. “Both teams played so well with determination and focus. Passing was dialed in, movement off the ball was a thing of beauty, and while the lone goal came in the 73rd minute of play, it was a battle between the teams to the final whistle.”
Senior Jack Carlson got the game-winner late in the second half on a goal assisted by sophomore Otto Anderson. Johnson also lauded Erik Reineke and Julian Ramos for the way they pursued the ball every minute they played.
“Tonight we also had the opportunity to honor our 12 senior players for their support of the program,” Johnson said. “Thank you to captain Bryce Paffrath, Dylan Hendricks, Dylan Kraker, Erik Reineke, Henry Ramstorf, Hunter Bollman, Jack Breitzman, captain Jack Carlson, Nic Borden, Noah Pohlen, captain Sam Faber and Tripp Shatek.”
Alexandria goes to Sartell on Thursday night for a 5 p.m. kickoff.