BOYS SOCCER: Alexandria eliminates Senior High
Alexandria took just one minute and nine seconds to get on the scoreboard Thursday. That was a bad omen for the East Grand Forks Senior High boys soccer team.
The Green Wave season ended when the visiting Cardinals handed Senior High a 5-3 setback in the first round of the Minnesota Section 8A boys soccer tournament.
Alexandria, 5-10-2, advances to Saturday's quarterfinal round. Senior High closed at 8-8-1. While the Wave finished at .500, they were 0-6-0 in games when their opponent scored the game's first goal.
"It was just one of those things,'' Senior High coach Matt Stengl said. "We needed an early goal to get us going.
"Today, I think it was the jitters of being in the playoffs. We made a couple mistakes that cost us.''
If Kagan Foster's opening goal was a bad sign for the Wave, it was a good sign for the Cardinals.
"If we score first, we generally win or tie,'' said Alexandria coach Cahil Collins, whose team had its second-highest scoring game of the season in the win against the Wave. The Cardinals' offense has struggled, scoring only 25 goals in the regular season.
"We're a good team,'' Collins said. "We just haven't been consistent. It was just a good night. We moved the ball well. Getting the ball to a finisher, that was the key.''
Grant Frydenlund kept the Wave close. The senior scored all three goals, giving him team highs of 18 goals and 32 points on the season. In the first half, Frydenlund's first goal tied the game at 1-1. His second pulled the Wave within 3-2.
But Jacob Nienaber's first goal of the season with 2:07 left in the first half gave the Cardinals a 4-2 lead, and Devin Crowe's second goal of the game 3:06 into the second half gave Alexandria a comfortable 5-2 advantage.
"That one was the heart wrencher for us,'' Stengl said. "We still had time. And lately we've put up some big numbers. But putting up three straight goals on a team is hard. It wasn't there tonight.''
Brandon Johnson had nine saves in goal for Senior High, while Alexandria's Zach Lamb turned back 11 shots.
"That (fifth goal) gave us breathing room,'' Collins said. "There was still a lot of time left. But we play good defense.''