Tigers score early, often in win over Faribault

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bell Field in Faribault is small with a hard, fast surface.

Passes have to be accurate and player contact is frequent.

For the Albert Lea Girls&8217; soccer team, Bell Field is a shooting gallery.

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The Tigers put up 28 shots on goal on their way to a 6-1 victory and a perfect 2-0 record.

Sophomore Jenna Christensen got the Tigers on the board at the 7:30 mark with a strong solo effort.

Seventeen minutes later, freshman Mariah Maras deflected in the winning goal with assists from senior Jaclyn Rehmke and junior Brittni Lair.

Breaking through a determined Faribault defense, Lair netted the insurance goal 36 minutes into the game on another assist from Rehmke.

In the last two minutes of the half, sophomore Heather Greibrok scored her first goal of the season unassisted.

&8220;At first glance, the score may seem lopsided, but you cannot take anything or anybody for granted in the Big Nine,&8221; said Tiger’s Head Coach Rick Barnhill.

&8220;Faribault has steadily improved their quality of play over the past three seasons, so it is important to come out strong.&8221;

Sitting on a 4-0 lead, Barnhill changed the lineup for the second half, moving netminder senior Kendra Olchefske onto defense and calling on freshman Steph Ferguson to keep.

He also began aggressively rotating in reserve players.

It took all of two and a half minutes for senior Whitney Wilson to power through the Falcon defense and put in the fifth goal on a feed from Lair and only two more minutes before senior Leah Walters headed in her second score of the season on an Olchefske throw-in to cap Albert Lea&8217;s scoring for the night.

Six goals in under 45 minutes.

Other than surrendering a late goal with less than 10 minutes left in the game, the Tigers dominated throughout.

&8220;I was very pleased with the way the players were circulating the ball and with the overall offensive effort,&8221; said Barnhill.

&8220;One of many things Tiger soccer is known for is diversity of scoring.

This season is only two games old and already over one third of the players have scored at least one goal.

It was also good the reserves were able to get quality minutes to really show what they can do.

Their ability to step in gets even more important as we get deeper into the season.&8221;

In junior varsity action, the Tigers beat the Falcons 4-0 on goals by Alex Ciota, Beth Niebuhr, Ariel Christensen and Ashley Trail.

Thursday, the (0-2) Owatonna Huskies come to Hammer Field, looking to avenge last year’s 2-1 come-from-behind victory by the Tigers.