ALHS girls tie Mayo in opener

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 24, 2002

Only about five minutes had elapsed from the game clock when the Albert Lea High School girls’ soccer team suffered its first big setback of the season.

Senior Liz Reynen, a captain and the starting goalie, took a kick to the head on a save and was sidelined for the rest of the night.

The Tigers recovered.

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Crystal Rentz stepped in the net and gave up only a penalty kick the rest of the way as the Tigers tied Rochester Mayo 1-1 in the season opener at Hammer Field Friday night.

“It was a great start to the season,” said ALHS coach Todd Lange. “I think it will send a message to the Big Nine that Albert Lea is ready to play. We’re ready for a good season.”

Mayo’s goal came only minutes after Reynen left the game as the Tigers were called for tripping on a breakaway. The penalty kick was just below the crossbar, just out of Rentz’s reach.

It was 1-0 at halftime and almost at the end of regulation. The Tigers tied it with 1:32 remaining on a penalty kick of their own, by freshman Laura Hillman.

The Tigers had several scoring chances in the final three minutes of the second five-minute overtime, when Albert Lea applied constant pressure in the Mayo zone.Lange said Jessica McGinnis and Brianne Plantage split time defending a returning all-conference forward and did an outstanding job shutting her down.

The coach also praised the play of Rentz stepping in and Hillman in her first varsity soccer game.

The Albert Lea junior varsity lost 1-0. The ninth-grade team fell 2-1, with Ashlee Pence scoring on an assist from Jenny Birkhofer. Annie Berger played a strong game in goal for the freshman squad.