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Tigers pull off section win

The Albert Lea boys’ soccer team started its postseason run Monday night, hosting Tri-City United in the first round of the Section 2A tournament.

The Tigers were unsure what to expect from their opponents as the Titans only played four games throughout the regular season. Despite the lack of knowledge on the Titans, the Tigers pulled through in a big way, winning 3-1 and advancing to the second round.

Albert Lea senior Lei Htoo gave the fans a bit of excitement early, hitting two shots within inches of finding the back of the net around seven minutes into the game.

Senior Cole Indrelie put the Tigers on the scoreboard just two minutes later on a short goal that sailed to the upper left corner of the goal.

The Titan’s goalie was put to the test a short while later, but came up with an impressive diving stop to keep the Tigers within reach.

Around 15 minutes went by with Albert Lea controlling the ball on the Tri-City United side of the field for a majority of the time. Senior Aung Win found an opportunity with 15 minutes left in the half to take a long shot that barely missed, after the goalie tipped it away at the last second. Win found his redemption on the ensuing corner kick, however, getting the goal with the assist from Indrelie and putting Albert Lea on top 2-0.

The Titans came close to narrowing the gap late in the second half, but senior goalie Caleb Hanson recorded multiple big saves  to keep the Titans off the scoreboard.

The Tigers went to the halftime break with a comfortable two-goal lead.

Tri-City United cut into the lead early in the second half, scoring a goal just three minutes into play.

Freshman Joseph Yoon put the Tigers back up by two goals with just under 20 minutes left in the match with a shot that snuck between the crossbar and the goalie’s hands.

With a 3-1 lead, Albert Lea held strong and played the final 20 minutes without letting Tri-City United climb its way back.

The win moves the Tigers to 6-7-2 on the season and advanced them to the second round of the Section 2A tournament. The No. 9 seeded Tigers will hit the road Thursday to take on the No. 8 seed Eagles of New Ulm, who finished the regular season with a record of 8-8.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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