Gallery: Albert Lea falls against Rochester Mayo
Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Despite holding Rochester Mayo scoreless in the second half, the Albert Lea boys’ soccer team was unable to dig out of a three-goal deficit.
The Tigers lost 3-0 against the Spartans Tuesday at Jim Gustafson Field.
Albert Lea was out-shot 19-4, and coach Joe Squires said he was pleased with the play of his back row and goalie Foster Otten, who had 15 saves.
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“Foster had some wicked saves,” he said. “The thing I was really looking for on defense tonight was to not give up any weak goals, and we accomplished that. The goals that Mayo scored, they were tough goals that they earned.”
Mayo scored its first goal 10 minutes into the game, but Albert Lea threatened to tie game 20 minutes later. Senior midfielder Jerry Halstead threw the ball in to Jesus Garcia-Gonzalez, who made a good shot on goal, but the Spartans’ goalie made a diving save to knock the ball around the outside of the bottom right corner.
Squires said that along with Otten’s play in the goal, he was impressed with freshman midfielder Lay Wah.
“Lay Wah did very well,” he said. “He was winning balls in the center and then trying to get them back out.”
Last year in their 11th game of the season, the Tigers tied the Spartans 2-2 on the road. However, this year’s team is young. Squires said seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen received playing time, and the inexperienced players need to work on the mental game.
“There was just something a little different tonight — playing a tough team like Mayo,” he said. “Those little touches, you know nine times out of 10 they can put those in, but they were second-guessing themselves,” he said. “That’s exactly what happened tonight.”
Albert Lea was coming off its first win of the season — a 4-1 victory in its home opener Thursday against Byron — and Rochester Mayo was trying to get back on track after a 1-0 overtime home loss against Northfield, the same team that knocked the Spartans out of the postseason in the first round of the Section 1AA tournament last year.
Next, Albert Lea (1-3 overall, 0-2 Big Nine Conference) will play at 7 p.m. Thursday at Northfield (3-0-1 overall, 2-0 Big Nine Conference).
“I expect that they’re going to be on par with the gamespeed that we saw tonight,” Squires said. “We just have to do a lot of the same things and get over that mental hurdle of playing with these guys. We need to bring it right away.”
The Raiders’ last three games have gone into overtime. Northfield’s only game that didn’t go into extra time was a 4-1 win in the season opener at Lakeville South. The Raiders are coming off a 1-0 double overtime home win against Mankato West.