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Soccer roundup: Alexandria girls stymie Class 3A's Brainerd

Elle Heydt scored the lone goal, and the defense posted its eighth shutout in 10 games this season.

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Elle Heydt
Photo by Mark Ripley / Select Digital Memories
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ALEXANDRIA — The Alexandria girls soccer team got another big win for seeding purposes as the Cardinals’ added a Class 3A victory over a now 4-4-1 Brainerd team from Thursday night.

Alexandria scored the only goal of the game when junior Elle Heydt connected on a shot from just outside the penalty box. Ella Westlund assisted on the goal.

“(Ella) found Elle at the top of the box and was able to thread a very accurate pass through a stubborn defense,” Alexandria head coach Amy Korynta said. “It was a beautiful goal.”

As it has done all season, the Cardinals’ defense took things from there. Scoring chances were limited for both teams as just 10 saves needed to be made all night. Alexandria senior goalkeeper Sophia Vinje turned aside six of those.

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Sophia Vinje
Contributed photo by Mark Ripley / Select Digital Memories

This was the eighth shutout of the season for the now 9-1 Cardinals. They have allowed just four goals in the 10 games.

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“The defensive unit, anchored by Sophia Vinje in goal and Lydia Oldenkamp, continues to play aggressively and confidently,” Korynta said. “We have a lot of confidence in this defense. Defensively, we play well together and are really figuring out how to communicate effectively during the game. We are able to limit scoring opportunities because of the aggressive defensive style we play all over the field.”

Brainerd was coming off back-to-back shutouts of its own and much of Thursday’s game was played in the neutral zone.

“Neither team had many quality scoring opportunities,” Korynta said. “I credit this to our stubborn defense. Ellen Panther, Greta Oldenkamp, Abby Faber, Avery Sinning and Emma Ramstorf joined up with Sophia Vinje and Lydia Oldenkamp to keep things very tight in the defensive end. Although the score was tight, it was a great game to improve how we play defensively.”

Alexandria will play two straight games now against Section 8AA opponents. The Cardinals are at Rocori on Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. and then host St. Cloud Apollo on Sept. 29 at 5 p.m.

Brainerd beats Alex boys in OT

BRAINERD — Cullen Davis scored with four minutes left in overtime to lift the Brainerd boys soccer team past Alexandria 3-2 Thursday, Sept. 22.

Davis’ goal came off a free kick from Drew Larson.

Nick Holmberg forced the extra play as he scored both Brainerd goals in regulation. His second tied the score with nine minutes remaining.

Kalvin Stengrim collected six saves for the Warriors who are now on a four-game unbeaten streak.

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(Recap from Brainerd Dispatch)

Alexandria 0 2 0 0 -- 2

Brainerd 1 1 0 1 -- 3

First half: Brd-Nick Holmberg (Keaton Walkowiak)

Second half: Alex 58:00, Alex 68:00, Brd-Holmberg 71:00

Overtime: Brd-Cullen Davis (Drew Larson) 86:00

Goalkeepers: Brd-Kalvin Stengrim (6 saves)

Conference: Brd 4-1-1, Alex 4-2-2. Overall: Brd 6-2-3, Alex 6-3-2.

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Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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