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PREP SOCCER: Not quite enough

Finishing on scoring chances has been the one big problem for East Grand Forks Senior High's girls soccer team. That struggle finished the Green Wave's season Tuesday.

East Grand Forks defender Ashley Ayotte (21) heads down the field looking for an open teammate during TuesdayÕs Section 8A girls soccer semifinal against St. Cloud Apollo at East Grand Forks Senior High. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)
East Grand Forks defender Ashley Ayotte (21) heads down the field looking for an open teammate during TuesdayÕs Section 8A girls soccer semifinal against St. Cloud Apollo at East Grand Forks Senior High. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)

Finishing on scoring chances has been the one big problem for East Grand Forks Senior High's girls soccer team. That struggle finished the Green Wave's season Tuesday.

St. Cloud Apollo got a goal from Jessica Timpane 6:24 into overtime, giving the visiting Eagles a 2-1 win against Senior High in the semifinals of the Minnesota Section 8A playoffs.

The Green Wave closed with an 10-5-3 record. They averaged 3.2 goals per game. But, Wave coach Jessica Bina said, "It's been our Achilles heel all season, finishing opportunities in the box. We possessed, possessed, possessed. But we struggled to finish again.''

Eagles goalie Anna Carlson had something to do with that. The senior finished with 10 saves. She had several outstanding stops in the second half, including one on which Carlson dove, tipped the ball with her fingers and hauled it in before it got into the net.

"She kept us in the game,'' SCA coach Mark Timpane said of his goalie, who has seven shutouts this season.

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Likewise, Senior High goalie McKenzie Whalen excelled. The junior had 14 saves and was particularly sharp in the first half with three diving stops, a catch on a shot from point-blank range and a leaping tip of a shot that glanced off the crossbar and out. "Kenzie kept us in the game in the first half,'' Bina said.

Said Mark Timpane: "(Whalen) played a great game. She's one of the better goalies we've seen.''

But Jessica Timpane got the game winner. Dribbling in from the right side, the sophomore made a nice move to beat a defender and get open for a shot, which she put over Whalen and into the net for her ninth goal of the season.

The Eagles had taken a 1-0 lead 7:15 into the game on Karli Hiltner's 15th goal of the season. Senior High pulled even 2:59 into the second half when Sydney Hjelle punched in a close-range goal in a crowd for her second goal of the season.

But that's all the scoring the Wave could manage.

"We had a great second half,'' Bina said. "We were an inch or two away from getting that second goal several times. It was the story of our season.''

St. Cloud Apollo takes a 12-3-2 record into Thursday's section championship game.

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