Tigers crumble in 2nd half loss to Fairmont

Published 5:15 pm Saturday, September 10, 2011

Junior Tyler Shaw had a first half hat-trick for the Tigers in the loss. His first goal came less than three minutes into the contest. -- Garrett Wampler/Albert Lea Tribune

At times in the final game of the Albert Lea soccer invitational the Tigers looked like the team that they can be. In the second half and in overtime they looked like the team they shouldn’t be.

Albert Lea (1-4) began the game by playing fast and with intensity, scoring four goals in the stanza against the Fairmont Cardinals (7-0). Then they sat by and watched as the Cardinals rallied with four goals in the second half and the game winner in the second overtime period to win 5-4.

“That is the team we are capable of being,” Albert Lea head coach Elia Romano said. “The team that came out in the second half was the team that we are still at times. That we are fighting hard not to be.”

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Junior Tyler Shaw lead the Tiger’s attack in the first half with three of their four scores. His first tally came just over two minutes into the game on a back door finish from Preston Smith.

Elias Lazaro was the next Tiger to spot Shaw in front of the net for a goal. Timmothy Furland also pitched in to Albert Lea’s effort by firing a ball directly at the Cardinal goal keeper, but there was enough power on the ball for it to find its way into the goal.

Timmothy Furland pitched in to Albert LeaÕs effort by firing a ball directly at the Cardinal goal keeper, but there was enough power on the ball for it to find its way into the goal. -- Garrett Wampler/Albert Lea Tribune

“The first half was probably the best half of passing we’ve done as far as choosing options,” Romano said. “That makes soccer a lot easier.”

Shaw added his final goal of the contest on another back door score from Smith.

Fairmont came out to the pitch at Hammer Field as a completely different team in the second half.

The Cardinals scored their first goal in under three minutes to begin the comeback on a header by Joe Driano.

Goals by Lucas Miles and Alex Nelson pulled the Cardinals back into the game and with five minutes and ten seconds left Fairmont delivered the equalizer.

Bruno Beidacki sent another header past Tiger goal keeper Tom Furland to even the game at four goals and send the match into overtime.

“We have to give Fairmont a lot of credit,” Romano said. “They came out with a lot of intensity and they decided to make every ball theirs. Credit to them, but certainly we’ve got to take a hard look at ourselves.”

In the second overtime period, Miles slipped behind four Tiger defenders inside of the box and delivered the game winner on a top shelf score on Albert Lea’s Cameron Hove.

Albert Lea beat Schaeffer Academy 2-0 and Fairmont beat Stewartville (1-4) by a score of 4-0 to advance to the finals. In the third place game Schaeffer Academy (4-3) downed Stewartville 1-0.

Fairmont 0 4 1 — 5

Albert Lea 4 0 0 — 4

1st Half — 1, Albert Lea Shaw (Smith) 3rd minute. 2, Albert Lea Shaw (Lazaro) 12th minute. 3, Albert Lea Tim Furland 16th minute. 4, Albert Lea Shaw (Smith) 32nd minute.

2nd Half — 5, Fairmont Driano (Jensen) 43rd minute. 6, Fairmont Miles 61st minute. 7, Fairmont Nelson 69th minute. 8, Fairmont Beidacki (Jensen) 74th minute.

1st OT — none

2nd OT — 9, Fairmont Miles 87th minute.

Yellow card — Fairmont Heuer, 28th minute. Fairmont Lemon, 38th minute. Fairmont Welchlin, 56th minute. Fairmont Jensen, 61st minute. Albert Lea Herrera, 73rd minute. Albert Lea Smith, 74th minute.