Otter boys get first win over CardsPublished 9:47am Wednesday, September 11, 2013
It was jubilation at the 39th minute when Fergus Falls boys soccer player Seth Stein flicked the ball over the Alexandria keeper in Tuesday’s match up between the Central Lakes Conference foes. It was the Otters’ first goal of the season and would prove to be the deciding score in the Otters’ first win of the season, 1-0.
After several minutes of an Alexandria push to start the game, the Otters went on the offensive and created several scoring opportunities throughout the first half.
Otter forward Mitchell Cole took in a pass from midfielder Sam Rausch and put a shot just wide of the Alex goal.
Rausch had three shots of his own on goal, including one from well outside the box that soared just over the crossbar.
But while the majority of play threatened inside of Alexandria’s territory, the Cardinals pushed past midfield on several occasions. The Otter defense held strong, however, and goalkeeper Conner Hatfield made several stops to keep the score tied.
With the Otters trying to make a push to finally get the ball into the net, Rausch was fouled 30 yards in front of the goal. With the Cardinal defense set up for the block, Stein snuck in and tipped the ball just out of the Alexandria keepers reach, giving the Otters a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The Otters carried its momentum into the second half, controlling the first 10 minutes of play.
Looking for its second goal, Cole sent a cross into the Alexandria zone where Rausch put a header on goal, only to see it deflect off the crossbar.
Alexandria made one final push in the final minutes of the game, but a determined Otter defensive line helped Hatfield keep the Cardinals scoreless, giving the goalie his first career shutout and the Otters a victory.
“We have been working on moving to the ball and applying pressure to the other team,” Otter head coach Beau Krueger said after the game. “We had several players take their play to the next level tonight. Stein played his best game of the season. He played everywhere tonight: forward, midfield and defense at different points of the game. Seth discovered what he can do if he sets his mind to do it. Luke Nelson has been primarily playing defense for our team. He filled in at midfield tonight and did a great job. He gave us (the coaches) and his teammates everything he had tonight.”
The Otters go for win number two against Crookston on Friday at 5:30 p.m. when they open play in the West Fargo Tournament.