PREP GIRLS' SOCCER: WHS bows out of Section 2A playoffsWASECA — With time winding down in the second half, the Worthington girls’ soccer team held a 1-0 lead against Waseca. But the sixth-seeded Bluejays scored twice in the final 15 minutes and 33 seconds, handing the 11th-seeded Trojans a 2-1 loss in the Section 2A tournament Tuesday night.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
WASECA — With time winding down in the second half, the Worthington girls’ soccer team held a 1-0 lead against Waseca.
But the sixth-seeded Bluejays scored twice in the final 15 minutes and 33 seconds, handing the 11th-seeded Trojans a 2-1 loss in the Section 2A tournament Tuesday night.
“It was a really close contest and really exciting,” WHS head coach Smitty Ektnitphong said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t win the game, but I’m really proud of these girls. I thought that the last two and a half weeks, we really came along nicely.”
Last week, the Trojans (4-10) suffered a 3-0 loss at Waseca, but had just come off an emotional win against Fairmont the day before.
“This game was a little bit different,” the coach said. “We had good practice sessions the whole week. We knew our assignments. We had to stop (Brittany Miller) and we were able to contain her. I thought our defense did a really good job keeping her at bay.”
The Trojans scored first mid-way through the first half.
Following a nice pass up the middle, Paige McCabe sent a through ball to Alina Keodouangsy, who slid the ball into the left corner, giving the Trojans a one-goal advantage.
Miller scored with 15:32 remaining in the second half to tie the score at 1-all.
“Waseca gained a lot of possessions in the second half because they had to,” the coach said. “We expected they were going to be doing that. They came at us really aggressively, really fast and really quick and really often. We had a couple of chances in the second half also.”
Taryn Juberien later added what proved to be the game-winner with 4:33 showing on the clock.
“I don’t think she was really shooting it,” Ektnitphong said. “She just floated the ball into the middle and it found a way to arc down into the goal post. That kind of stings a little bit.”
The Trojans weren’t able to tie the game in the final minutes, ending their season.
“I want to tip my hat to them,” Ektnitphong said. “Their kids also fought hard. It’s wonderful to see two teams battle and they played a really great game. Even though we came out with a loss, we were right there. We just came up a little bit short.”
The Worthington defense played well in front of goalkeeper Alivia Rowley. She made several nice saves on the day, and the defense was able to overcome an early penalty shot — all while playing without two normal starters. Achan Alwal and Monica Duron-Jimenez stepped in and played well for WHS.
The loss also marked the final games for seniors Ananaya Alwal, Bernadette Boever and McCabe.
“I want to thank the seniors,” Ektnitphong said. “Ananaya had been looking forward to this season, but in the first game of the season against Austin, she sprained her knee and was pretty much out for the season. But she was with the team every game and she was cheering really hard. Bernadette was a five-year player with me. I have seen her change and seen her become the leader of the team and really take on that role.
“Paige has been playing with us for two years, but she really fit in and gave us some strength up front. Those seniors have been playing their roles this year big time.”
Worthington 1 0 — 1
Waseca 0 2 — 2