Tigers shut out by Spartans
Published 8:51 pm Tuesday, September 8, 2015
The Tigers were so busy playing defense that they rarely had a chance to play any offense.
Rochester Mayo shut out the Albert Lea girls’ soccer team 6-0 Tuesday at Jim Gustafson Field.
The loss brought the Tigers’ overall record to 0-3, and 0-2 in the Big Nine Conference.
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According to Albert Lea head coach Rick Barnhill, the most telling statistic was time of possession. The Tigers possessed the ball for 14 minutes, while the Spartans had 66 minutes of possession.
“Their saturation of offensive possession in our half literally broke us down,” Barnhill said. “We spent about 90 percent of the game defending against a very highly-skilled and athletic team.”
While Albert Lea had four corner kicks to Rochester Mayo’s two, the Spartans outshot the Tigers 38-12.
Junior goalie Kathryn Flaherty had 11 saves.
Barnhill cited senior Haley Larson and sophomore Ella Zelenak for playing good defense and said sophomore Rachel Rehnelt played well as a midfielder.
Barnhill said that losing some standout players to graduation impacted the team, and that the team’s attitude is to progress as the season continues.
What the team will work on next in practice is technical ability, defending aspects and developing a better first touch to the ball.
“Mayo’s speed of thought and speed of action was simply superb,” he said. “They kept us constantly reacting with no chance to anticipate.”
Next, the Tigers will play at 7 p.m. Thursday at Northfield (1-2, 0-2 Big Nine). After an 18-0 win over Cannon Falls in the Raiders’ opener, the team lost 8-0 at Rochester Mayo and 2-0 Tuesday against Mankato West at home.