Flaherty’s saves help Tigers hold off huskies in match’s final moments

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Albert Lea girls’ soccer team had to wait awhile for its home-opener.

Coming off a 4-0 loss to Northfield, Albert Lea was anxious to get back onto the field against Owatonna Tuesday.

The Tigers got the game’s lone goal when Turena Schultz knocked in a rebound off Ella Zelenak’s free kick with 1:04 left in the first half.

The Tigers spent the remaining 40 minutes holding on to their lead, as the Huskies tried desperately to do everything in their power to get the ball past keeper Kathryn Flaherty.

“Going into the second half, defense was the key,” said Tigers coach Laura Wangen. “We still tried to take advantage of offensive opportunities, but each player carried out their defensive first and foremost.”

With just over eight minutes remaining, Flaherty came up with a huge save on a shot by the Huskies’ Jordan Whalen.

Moments later, Whalen had another golden opportunity, but the ball deflected off the bottom of the crossbar. Flaherty quickly turned around and hugged the ball before any Huskie could put it in the back of the goal.

Flaherty completed the trifecta when she made a diving stop on a shot with 1:30 remaining.

“We our proud of our performance, but we also need to focus on what’s ahead,” Wangen said.

Albert Lea will take on Rochester Century in Rochester Thursday.

Start time for the match is scheduled for 7 p.m.