Tigers tie Spartans 1-1 in 2 overtimes

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 22, 2006

For the first third of the game against the Rochester Mayo Spartans, the Albert Lea girls&8217; soccer team was as cold as the wind blowing through Hammer stadium.

While the defense was holding firm, balls were rarely making it into the offensive third.

The Spartans were getting first touches and winning 50-50 balls.

At 13:23 into the contest, Mayo put a perfectly struck ball past keeper Madi Passingham&8217;s hands, getting their first and only goal of the night.

Going into the last part of the half, the Tigers kicked it into gear and began taking it to the Spartans.

The first 40 minutes ended with the locals putting a lot of pressure on the Spartan keeper.

Albert Lea head coach Rick Barnhill must have on his team at halftime because the Tigers came out strong.

Mayo&8217;s attacking became predictable and more defensible as the match wore on, but the Tigers would mix up their game; coming at the Spartans from different angles and with different styles.

At the 59th minute, Whitney Wilson knotted it up on a strong low shot when Allison Stark redirected a Kendra Olchefske throw-in. Despite a steady and spirited Tiger attack throughout the second half, solid Mayo goalkeeping kept out the go-ahead goal.

Regulation time ran out with the locals still pressing their attack.

Albert Lea outshot Rochester throughout the second half and in both overtimes but didn&8217;t find the back of the net again.

Rochester Mayo got out of town with a tie.

&8220;We were soft in the first half and that was The topic at halftime,&8221; said Barnhill. &8220;The team responded and made the necessary adjustments. Whitney had another very well struck ball and, as an eighth-grader, Allison has been effectively challenging girls four and five years older and bigger to set up shots.

Madi gave us another good performance in goal, freeing Kendra to wreak some havoc on their forwards.

We are also starting to get some players back off injury which will help us down the stretch.

&8220;You cannot let one game or one performance &045; good or bad &045; dictate your future; it all plays out over the season.

After the final whistle, we focus only on the next game, which is at home Thursday against Faribault.&8221;

The Albert Lea junior varsity fell on a late goal 1-0 and the C-squad was beaten 5-0.