3-2 loss ends season for ALHS girls’ soccer squad

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2002

If it was a regular-season game, it’s a safe bet the Albert Lea High School girls’ soccer team couldn’t wait to play again.

But that won’t happen. Not this year.

The Tigers saw their season end with a tough 3-2 loss to Visitation in a Section 2A semifinal game at Hammer Field Tuesday night. Albert Lea lost despite outshooting the visitors 13-10 and coming frustratingly close on some scoring opportunities.

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&uot;The girls gave it all they had,&uot; said ALHS coach Todd Lange. &uot;We went against a good team and we played well and, with a couple breaks here or there, we could have won. Hats off to the other team, hats off to our girls for playing hard.&uot;

The Tigers, seeded second in the section, finished with a record of 11-5-3. Third-seeded Visitation will play at Prior Lake Thursday for the section championship and state tournament berth.

The action was back and forth most of the night, with Visitation taking a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute of the first half.

The Tigers tied it about three minutes later when Laura Hillman scored on an Amy Marka assist and it was 1-1 at halftime.

Albert Lea almost took the lead early in the second half, when Crystal Rentz set up Hillman for a shot on which the Visitation goaltender made a diving save, just knocking the ball wide of the goal with her fingertips.

&uot;I don’t know if she’s the best goalie we’ve seen this year, but she’s good,&uot; said Lange.

Visitation took the lead in the 17th minute, when a forward chipped a ball that was headed into the net.

Five minutes later, the Tigers had trouble clearing the ball in front of goalie Liz Reynen and Visitation knocked in its third goal.

Hillman pulled the Tigers within one with four minutes remaining in regulation.

While disappointed with the loss, Lange said he was very pleased with the Tigers’ record of 11-5-3 and their second-place finish in the Big Nine.

&uot;What a great season,&uot; stated Lange. &uot;The whole team was just fantastic to work with, as much fun off the field as on. I’d like to mention everyone and thank them for a great season.&uot;

Lange settled for mentioning the seniors, whom he said did a great job Tuesday and all season. They are Amy Ravenhorst, Reynen, Steph Overgaard, Brie Woitas, Sydney Staloch, Shawna Robertson and Lindsey Sorenson. And senior Jessica McGinnis was on the bench for the first time since sustaining an injury in practice.