U-16 girls shine in state tourney

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 30, 2002

BLAINE &045; During the 2002 regular season, the Albert Lea U-16 girls’ soccer team was unbeatable in district play.

It was the same way on the first weekend of the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association Classic 3 state tournament.

The Albert Lea girls scored a pair of 5-0 shutouts at the National Sports Center in Blaine, leaving them a win or a tie away from the state championship game.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;Everything looks great,&uot; said coach Paul Marka.

The team’s final game in pool play is Thursday at 5 p.m. against Centennial. The title game is Saturday at 11 a.m. Both are at the NSC.

Albert Lea blanked Sibley in game one behind goals by Amy Marka, Katie Stenseth, Crystal Rentz, Emily Staloch and Laura Hillman. Assists were by Katie Dooley and Emily Bergstrom.

The Dakota Rev was the next opponent. Lacey Pederson, Stenseth and Hillman scored one goal apiece. Amy Marka scored twice and had an assist. Dooley, Pederson, Hillman and Stenseth also had assists.

Nicole Sorenson was in the net.

The wins improved Albert Lea’s record to 17-2, with 12 of the wins by shutout.

According to Coach Marka, defense continues to be the strength of the squad.

&uot;Basically, the defense did real good,&uot; he said. &uot;The offense played as expected, but the defense played especially good. The defense has played great all year, hasn’t given up much.&uot;

For the year, the U-16 girls have outscored opponents 109-12.

The rest of the squad includes Brianne Plantage, Char Everhart, Emily Staloch, Tara Wrolson, Mandy Ardolf, Missy Reichl, Jenny Holst Breanna Millhouse and Sarah Kurth.

As a U-13 squad, this group won a state championship in 1999. The only losses this year were 3-1 to a Classic 1 team from River Falls, Wis., and 2-1 to a Classic 2 team from Fargo, N.D.

Albert Lea outshot both opponents.