Gallery: Tigers tie Packers
Overall records can be deceiving, as the Albert Lea girls’ soccer team learned Tuesday on Homecoming against Austin at Jim Gustafson Field.
The Tigers brought an 8-3-1 record into the game, while the Packers entered with a 1-7-4 mark.
However, after two scoreless five-minute halves of overtime, the game ended with a 1-1 tie.
“Tonight was a perfect example of how records mean zippity do-dah,” said Albert Lea coach Rick Barnhill. “Austin always plays inspired against us, and they have the best goalkeeper in the state.”
Austin may only have one win on its resume with only one more game on the regular-season schedule, but the Packers have yet to give up more than two goals in a game this season with Chloe Summerfield between the posts.
That streak continued Tuesday, despite an abundance of scoring opportunities for Albert Lea. The Tigers had 31 shots on goal. The Packers, nine. Counting the 10-minute overtime, the Tigers had possession of the ball past midfield for more than an hour. The Packers had less than 30 minutes.
“We dominated statistically and saturated their half with possession but missed a half dozen quality looks inside 15 yards of dead center,” Barnhill said.
All of the scoring during the 90-minute marathon of a game took place in a 52-second window.
Albert Lea’s Becca Dup scored the first goal of the game with 7:45 left on the clock before halftime. Austin’s Carolyn Hackel answered less than a minute later to tie the game.
Kathryn Flaherty led the Tigers in the goal with six saves.
Albert Lea will finish its season at 7 p.m. Thursday at Winona.
“We’re just looking for another win to finish the season on a good note before sections,” said Flaherty.
The Winhawks (0-11-1 overall, 0-8-1) have a similar record to Austin. However, unlike Austin, Winona’s defense has struggled. The Winhawks gave up 10 goals at Owatonna and nine against Rochester Mayo and Kasson-Mantorville. Winona’s most competitive game of the season was a 0-0 home tie against Austin. The Winhawks have scored two goals all year: one against Kasson-Mantorville, and the other was against Rochester Century.
Out of the 15 teams in Section 2A, Albert Lea set itself up with the No.1 seed a No. 12 QRF ranking. St. Peter is No. 2 in the section, and Fairmont is No. 3. The Tigers beat Fairmont 3-0 at their home tournament on Sept. 13. Other teams from the Big Nine Conference in the section are Mankato West, Mankato East, Faribault and Austin.