Albert Lea U-17 soccer boys finally tackle Dakota County

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Submitted Story To The Tribune

To have a chance at a bye to the state tournament, the locals knew what they had to do &045;

beat a team that had defeated them twice in the past week. However, the locals knew that this win was in reach, as the two previous losses were both by a 2-1 margin.

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Operating at full strength, Albert Lea tore through the visitors, inking three goals in the first half on the way to a 4-1 victory at Hammer Field. This put the Elks team at 6-2-1 and back atop the south district standings.

It didn’t take long. Zack McGinnis opened the scoring on an A.J. Kortz pass in the 14th minute.

McGinnis doubled up in the 41st minute on a feed from Josh Svendsen. One minute later, Jesse Tovar drove on the goal, netting the third unanswered score. Six minutes into the second half, Tovar pushed in the final nail on a Spencer Dahl crossing pass. The opponents were worn down, but not worn out. With 18 minutes left in the game, Dakota County finally got on the board, but the Elks team put a lock on the game to preserve the win.

&uot;What was most important,&uot; said coach Dan Williams, &uot;is that the team didn’t let up and let Dakota County back into the game. Second most important was that we had a full roster present because each player made a significant contribution. The team needed this win. With only a game or two remaining, there is a virtual three way tie at the top with us, Dakota County and Winona.

So the right win-loss combination could give any of us the bye to state and force the other two through playoffs.&uot;