The Alexandria girls soccer team had no problem scoring on Tuesday night in its home-opener.
Five second-half goals and a stellar defensive effort pushed the Cardinals to an 8-0 win over Central Lakes Conference foe Rocori.
Tuesday’s win looked much different than last Thursday’s did against Sartell. Alexandria moved to 2-0 by playing great in all facets of the game.
“In Sartell, we felt like we created a lot of opportunities in the first half and didn’t finish,” head coach Tom Roos said. “Tonight, being able to find the back this many times felt good. We had five different girls score goals tonight. That was pretty exciting to see that we can get goals in many different ways.”
Allie Randazzo broke the ice 16 minutes into the game with a strike from roughly 20-feet out. Morgan Jones made it a 2-0 game 30 seconds later with a header off a pass from Randazzo. With three minutes remaining in the first half, Aubrey Kosters lobbed a shot over the head of the Rocori keeper as the Cardinals began to blow the game wide open.
“The girls had more time with the ball at their feet, more than they’ll have in other games,” Roos said. “I think that allowed us to create some of our opportunities. What we have to realize is there will be opponents where we won’t have as much time where we will have to play and distribute the ball quicker. With the time (Rocori) gave us, we were able to create a lot of offensive chances”
Alexandria’s strikers converted on several of their chances throughout the second half. Randazzo scored her second of three goals on the night before Kylie James belted the ball over the keeper’s head on a free kick to make it 5-0. James, a defender, relishes her few opportunities to score.
“That doesn’t happen a whole lot for defense,” James said. “It was pretty cool.”
The Cardinal defensive unit was stout for the whole 80 minutes. Without allowing a quality shot on goal, goalkeeper Sophia Vinje cruised to a stress-free shutout.
“One of our goals before the game was to not allow any shots,” James said. “Even if they’re outside of the 18, we wanted no shots. We are very proud of ourselves for not letting any shots get through.”
Sadie Boraas got in on the scoring spree to push the game to running time with 19 minutes left. Jones tallied her second goal of the game to make it 7-0 before Randazzo completed the hat trick with under a minute left to play. Alexandria is playing with a high level of confidence early on this season.
“We are still trying to figure out how to play with each other, but we feel good out there,” James said. “It’s coming together really well. We have some new players, but they are adapting well to this team.”
Like many teams around the state, the Cardinals don’t know what the rest of the season will look like with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Like coach always says, we never know if a game will be our last this year,” James said. “We always need to give it our all and put everything into our practices.”
While the Cardinals are excelling on both ends of the pitch, their depth allows them to stay fresh from start to finish. Roos has options up and down the roster to separate Alexandria from their opponents.
“It’s great when we bring players off the bench, and there’s very little difference from the girls we have starting,” Roos said. “To be able to put players in and not have a significant drop off makes us coaches feel fortunate. We have a lot of strong returning varsity players, and the newcomers to the varsity team are going to do great things as well."