U-16 boys make it to state

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 15, 2004

Officially, it was the Albert Lea U-16 Classic III boys’ soccer team.

In reality, it was comprised of nine U-16 boys, two U-16 girls, one U-15 boy and five U-14 boys, who combined to finish the regular season 5-3 and in third place in the district. With five regulars missing, the group took on even more of a mixed look for the district tournament, with three

U-15 girls added for support.

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The chemistry must have been right.

The Albert Lea squad prevailed twice last weekend to win the district tournament and advance to state.

An improved Bloomington team, which Albert Lea beat twice in the regular season, was the opponent in game one. The locals won 1-0, with Jesse Tovar scoring on a throw-in assist from A.J. Kortz.

The second game was against LaCrosse, which split with Albert Lea in the regular season but brought a 6-2 record into the tournament and was the favorite to win it.

The locals started with only one reserve as Cheyenne Quam aggravated a previous injury and was unable to play and, about midway through the second half, Anna Sigurdson sustained an ankle injury that sidelined her the rest of the game.

Zach McGinnis put Albert Lea up 1-0 just before halftime.

LaCrosse had a chance to tie it with a penalty kick early in the second half, but Jake Williams turned away the attempt and the defense was able to clear the ball.

Three-fourths of the game was played with all remaining 11 players on the field and no substitutes. Albert Lea went held on to win 1-0.

The locals will enter the state tournament, which starts July 25 at the National Sports Center in Blaine, as the No. 2 seed from their district.

The district team consisted of Mike Christenson, Kyle Kirsch, Kortz, Sam McGinnis, Zach McGinnis, Sigurdson, Jake Thompson, Tovar, Williams, Jake Winkels, Brittni Lair, Quam and Ashley Trail. Additional members who played in the regular season and may participate in the state tournament are Jenny Birkhofer, Eric Bowron, Spence Dahl, Brady Evenson, Jim Swenson and Matt VanFossen. Head coach Dan Williams is assisted by Dave VanFossen and Steve Bowron.