ALHS boys remain on top of Big Nine

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 6, 1999

ROCHESTER – These days, every game is a big one for the Albert Lea High School boys’ soccer team.

Wednesday, October 06, 1999

ROCHESTER – These days, every game is a big one for the Albert Lea High School boys’ soccer team.

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And the Tigers keep rising to the occasion.

Albert Lea remained atop the Big Nine standings with a 1-0 shutout victory at Rochester Mayo Tuesday night, completing a season sweep of the defending conference champions.

&uot;The thing I’m most pleased with tonight is the way the whole team played together,&uot; said ALHS coach Jim Haun. &uot;We knew it would be a tough game.&uot;

That’s because Mayo is always tough and the Tigers were without one of their best players in senior Dan Ravenhorst.

Teamwork, defense and some intangible made the difference, according to Haun.

&uot;It was a lot of defense, a little bit of luck and just enough offensive chances to win the game,&uot; said the coach.

The defense was necessary because the Spartans peppered goalie Billy Jones, outshooting the Tigers 41-9 for the game and 22-2 in the first half.

Jones had nine saves alone in the first half, including one from point-blank range.

The only goal came in the 19th minute of the second half.

The play started with a direct kick by Matt Humphrey and ended with a scramble in front of the net, with Paul Olsen credited with the goal and Humphrey an assist. Luke Behrends was also involved in the play.

&uot;That really picked our guys up,&uot; said Haun. &uot;We were hanging on, at times, by the skin of our teeth trying to keep them from scoring. One thing I’m pleased with about the second half was we cut down on the quality of their shots.&uot;

Anchoring the defense, according to Haun, were Behrends, Jens Levisen, Rollie Palomo and Shane Pierick.

Ravenhorst, who suffered an ankle sprain in the previous game, is expected back in the lineup Saturday when the Tigers host Rochester JM. Game times are 10 a.m. for the JV and noon for the varsity.