Tigers tie Rockets in OT

Published 9:36 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Albert Lea's Lay Wah fends off Rochester John Marshall's Ricardo Rodriguez Tuesday at Jim Gustafson Field. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Lay Wah fends off Rochester John Marshall’s Ricardo Rodriguez Tuesday at Jim Gustafson Field. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

The streak of defensive dominance continued for the Albert Lea boys’ soccer team.

Through seven games, the Tigers (3-2-2, 1-2-1 Big Nine) shut out three opponents and held the other four to one goal each.

Rochester John Marshall (3-2-1, 3-0-1 Big Nine), a team that scored two or more goals against its last four opponents, was no exception against Albert Lea Tuesday with a 1-1 overtime tie at Jim Gustafson Field.

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“Out back four and our goalie have been awesome,” said Tigers coach Bob Furland. “They just continued what they’ve been doing, which was great to see.”

Foster Otten led Albert Lea from between the posts with seven saves.

The Rockets lit the scoreboard first less than six minutes into the first half.

At halftime, the Tigers trailed 1-0, and John Marshall had a 6-4 shots-on-goal advantage.

However, in the second half, Albert Lea outshot the Rockets 7-2.

“When we realized we could really play with this team, our confidence went up a lot,” said Tigers senior forward Nate Nelson. “We got a lot of chances, and we knew we had to capitalize on them.”

With 10:44 left in the second half, Nelson did just that. He rocketed a throw-in into the box, and Colton Mowers found the net on a header.

“I knew he’d get it in there,” Nelson said.

The goal came a minute after a similar play, when Nelson dribbled the ball down the sideline on a breakaway and centered it to Mowers, whose header sailed over the crossbar.

Winning loose balls at midfield in the second half set up scoring opportunities and helped Albert Lea swing the momentum.

“Our midfield played really well,” Furland said. “Spencer Indrelie covered a lot of ground, and Sam Ehrhardt was very impressive down the stretch.”

Last year, the Tigers tied the Rockets 3-3 at Rochester. John Marshall won the previous two meetings. The last time Albert Lea beat the Rockets was in the Tigers’ regular-season finale on Oct. 6, 2011 at Jim Gustafson Field.

Next, Albert Lea will play at 7 p.m. Thursday at Red Wing (0-5-2, 0-4-1 Big Nine). The Wingers were shut out in four of their seven games and are coming off a 3-1 home loss Tuesday against Northfield (3-3-1, 2-1-1 Big Nine).