Saints dominate Trojans
WORTHINGTON — Worthington freshman goalie Ahmitara Alwal made 21 saves on 29 shots in a 9-0 loss to St. Peter Thursday at Trojan Field in Worthington.
"In the first half, I didn't know what to do with all the shots I was facing," Alwal said. "But at halftime, my coach talked to me and just to me to keep my head up and told me I can do it.
"Her encouragement gave me a little energy and enthusiasm to go out there and make some of those saves."
Alwal faced 14 shots in the first half, allowing just three goals, while making nine saves in the second half on 15 shots.
"I just have to move and forget about it, there is nothing I can do to change what happened tonight," Alwal said. "I just have to work on getting better and change my mistakes."
The Trojans managed just one shot on goal in the two halves and were unable to move the ball into the Saints' end for most of the game.
"Our defense had a hard time getting the ball to our midfielders because they were so far sucked back onto defense, too," WHS head coach Emily Ahlquist said. "That's something we have to think about changing strategy-wise."
St. Peter opened the scoring 16 minutes, nine seconds into the first half when Emily Lind picked up the first of her three-straight goals on a shot from 17 feet out that bounced past Alwal to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. Marta Springer was awarded an assist on the goal.
Lind scored twice more in the half, once at the 14:35 mark and again with 7:24 left in the half.
"Whenever you can get in front of the ball and keep those shots from happening in the first place that is the goal for our defense," Ahlquist said. "You need to get a foot in front of that ball before it can even get to the goalie."
Despite being a freshman, Alwal came up big on multiple occasions in the first half, diving to her left and right to make the stops while using her hands, knees and body to keep the ball out of the net.
"It doesn't bug me to get on the ground and dive for balls," Alwal said. "It is good for me to play as such a young player because then I can improve as I get older.
"I have more years to get better and do what I need to do on the field."
St. Peter scored six more times in the second half, including goals by Springer (38:14), Annika Johnson (34:30), Sally Morrow (31:50) and two by Maggie Anderson (9:49, 5:14).
Alwal continued to make diving saves into the second half, picking up three more tough saves before the end of the game.
"When our goalie makes a great save, our defense needs to be able to clear it out," Ahlquist said. "If our goalie can make the save but isn't actually able to grab it, our defense needs to help her out back there."
The Trojans were able to generate a pair of rushes in the second half, including a rush by Monica Duron who was able to push past a pair of defenders early in the half before the Saints goalie challenged the play and scooped up the ball to end the threat.
"I think I am going to have a shift in our midfield in order to have some more support for our forwards, because once we get the ball there is no one to pass it to because all our midfielders are back," Ahlquist said. "Overall, making our passes and connecting our passes with ourselves is something we need to keep working on."
Worthington's (0-2) next game comes against Willmar Saturday at 11:45 a.m. at Trojan Field.
"We are a young team and really inexperienced, but we are learning and we'll get there," Ahlquist said.
WHS 0 0 — 0
ST. P 3 6 — 9