U-17 girls earn trip to state

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Albert Lea Elks U-17 girls’ soccer team finished the district tournament in second place.

But the season isn’t finished.

The locals’ runner-up showing earned them a spot in the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association Chevy Cup State Tournament.

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Despite a hot weekend and no reserves for either of their games, the U-17 girls were at the top of their game for the district tournament, according to coach Amy Jacobson.

The opener was against Shakopee and, after a scoreless tie at halftime, Tessa Christensen put Albert Lea up 1-0. Soon after Stacie Armstrong scored to make it 2-0.

With about 10 minutes remaining in regulation, defender Jodi Hestness went down with an injury and was taken to the hospital. Albert Lea held on to win 2-1.

The victory guaranteed the Elks team a trip to state. All that remained was a match with Apple Valley to determine their seed.

Before the game, the team received the surprising news that Hestness broke her leg, a big loss for the district and state tournaments.

Led by Laura Hillman, the locals had some strong scoring opportunities against Apple Valley but couldn’t find the net and lost 2-0.

&uot;Everyone worked really hard and I am very proud of every single one of them,&uot; said Coach Jacobson.

The rest of the district team included Mary Cook, Cali Christensen, Acacia Clarambeau, Carrie Gilbertson, Katie Kjos, Vanessa Lee, Ashlee Pence, Ashley O’Byrne and Kelly Schreiber.

The first game in the state tournament for the U-17 girls is Sunday, July 25 at 9 a.m. at the National Sports Center in Blaine.