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Otter Girls Stun Cardinals in Shootout

By Craig Olson, 10/12/18, 7:15AM CDT


The Fergus Falls girls soccer team is moving on to round two of the Section 8A playoffs after a stunning 2-1 shootout victory in Alexandria on Thursday night.

Midway through the first half Sophie Rausch took a pass from Miranda Hoffmanand beat the defenders, creating a breakaway situation.  Rausch buried her shot as the Otters took a 1-0 lead.  About ten minutes later Alexandria mounted an offensive surge and played a successful thorugh ball leading to a penalty kick opportunity which was converted by the Cardinals to tie the game at 1-1.

Both teams exchanged opportunities thorughout the second half as both goalies did their job well.  With four minutes to play Rausch received her second yellow card of the game and the Otters had to finish the contest with only ten players.

The game went into overtime, then to double overtime with both teams geting scoring opportunities, but failing to score.

"Being down to ten players, Alexandria controlled possession in the overtimes and Svea Smestad played incredible, keeping the Cardinals scoreless and getting us to the shootout," said Head Coach Ben Jurgens.

Five players from each side took turns with shots during the shootout.  Alexandria scored on their first shot and Mady Eklund responded for the Otters, placing her shot in the net by beating the Alexandria keeper.  The Cardinals hit the post on their second shot and Julia Johnson buried her shot to give the Otters the advantage.  Alexandria hit the corner of the right crossbar on their third shot and the Otters got a goal from Miranda Hoffman which meant that the Cardinals had to make their next shot to extend the shootout.  Their shot clipped the crossbar again and the Otters came out victorious.

"Both teams played so well considering the conditions they were asked to play under," stated Coach Jurgens.  "The temperature was approximately 26 degrees throughout the game.  The Otters played so hard.  Every position player and sub did their job.  I really feel Mady Eklund had her best game of the year.  She was in complete control of the game.  Svea Smestad was solid all game, but she was outstanding down the stretch and throughout the overtime and shootout.  To be honest, it was such a team effort I could list all of the girls.  They have a lot to be proud of."

Fergus Falls will now face top seeded Bemidji at 4:30pm Saturday at Bemidji State University.