ALHS soccer boys tie Winona in regular-season finale

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 7, 2002

WINONA &045; It wasn’t the way the Albert Lea High School boys’ soccer team hoped to finish the regular season but, all things considered, coach Jim Haun and the Tigers will take it.

Three Albert Lea players were injured Saturday as the Tigers battled to a 1-1 tie with Winona on a slippery, muddy Paul Giel Field.

“It was a physical, well-played game that either team could have won,” said Haun. “We’ll settle for the tie. My major concern is the condition of the injured players, but with a week before our next game, they should be ready to play.”

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The field conditions hampered the Tigers’ play Saturday, limiting their ability to play to their strength – control of the midfield.

“It just wasn’t possible to put much together 20 yards either side of the center line,” said Haun.

The Tigers came out strong and played a solid first half, outshooting Winona 9 – 8. Albert Lea’s goal came on an outstanding play be Nate Lombardi, who dribbled the ball in from the right side and, after beating the defender, carried the ball into the penalty area. The Winona goalkeeper came out to take the ball away, but Lombardi outmuscled him and blasted it into the goal on a third effort in the 12th minute.

The Tigers led 1-0 at halftime.

The teams played an even second half until injuries took two players out of the Tigers’ lineup. Center midfielder Jeremy Jacobson sprained an ankle on the slippery turf and defender Joe Squires went down in a collision with a Winona player.

While both players were being treated on the sideline, Winona was able to score by a header on a corner kick in the 29th minute. Jacobson returned to the field, but neither team was able to score during the rest of the second half.

Winona outshot the Tigers in the second half, 11 – 5.

Albert Lea outshot the Winhawks 3-0 in the two five-minute overtime periods, during which Tiger center defender Jake Levisen was also injured.

Ethan Berg played the entire game in goal and, according to Haun, kept the Tigers in it with some outstanding saves.

The team finished the regular season with a 6-6-1 record in the Big Nine and 8-6-1 overall.

Seeds for the upcoming Section 2A tournament are expected to be announced late this afternoon.