Albert Lea soccer boys blank Loyola

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 25, 2004

MANKATO &045; Section standings don’t mean much compared to strength of schedule.

Still, third-place Mankato-Loyola was sitting on a 6-4-1 record, outscored their previous opponents 40-15 and had home-field advantage against a 2-7-0 Albert Lea team. At the end, the Crusaders fell 1-0 to the tougher Tigers, completing an Albert Lea soccer sweep of Loyola.

Sophomore Zach McGinnis notched his second goal of the year 15 minutes into the second half by tucking a rebound into the upper left corner.

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A very pleased coach Elia Romano cited sustained intensity as key to winning.

&uot;One of the most encouraging things for me was our elevated passion in the second half,&uot; said Romano. &uot;For the first time all year we were able to keep possession for a solid 80 percent of play, often making eight or 10 consecutive passes. The field was very short but wide and when we took full advantage by starting our offense wide, we produced several high quality opportunities. A number of shots missed by feet or even inches and three or four shots rebounded off the posts. To make a late run in our conference and section, we desperately need to feed our passion at high intensity.&uot;