TROJAN GIRLS' SOCCER: Scarlets defeat TrojansWORTHINGTON — Even though the Trojan girls’ soccer team fell 1-0 to the Mankato West Scarlets, coach Emily Ahlquist couldn’t be happier with her teams’ effort
By: Jordan Willi, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Even though the Trojan girls’ soccer team fell 1-0 to the Mankato West Scarlets, coach Emily Ahlquist couldn’t be happier with her teams’ effort.
“This is the best game I’ve seen them play all year,” Ahlquist said. “We are finally full strength as a team. And now that we have the full team together again, they played as a team.”
With just under three minutes gone in the first half, the Trojans were able to put two shots just wide of the Scarlets’ net. But it wasn’t long before MW took control of the ball and began to put balls on net.
The Trojans’ defense held strong through the first half as the Scarlets were able to keep the ball in the offensive end and put six shots on goalie Alivia Rowley.
“We were shifting to where ever the ball was and we were communicating,” Trojan defender Valeria Cano said. “That is something we have lacked in previous games. We brought it back today and I am proud of the girls for that.”
The Trojans were only able to come up with two shots of their own in the first half, but they were also able to limit the amount of good chances the Scarlets were able to get. Neither team scored in the half, making it 0-0 heading into halftime.
“We were missing three-to-four players for a while and that forced us to adjust,” Cano said. “That was difficult for us. But today we came together as a family.”
The Scarlets came out strong in the second half, putting even more pressure on the Trojans than they did in the first half.
“I think we played strong both halves,” Ahlquist said. “I think they [Mankato West] came out strong in the second half and our defense was able to keep their heads and clear the ball.”
MW came close to getting the first goal of the game on a shot from 20 feet out that Rowley was able to tip it just over the cross bar. The Scarlets took the resulting corner kick, but the Trojans’ defense was able to clear the ball.
“The trust we had in each other really helped us hold off their pressure,” Cano said, “because if you don’t trust them, two people will cover one girl and that will cause confusion.”
With a little over 10 minutes gone in the half, Worthington was able to put a strong shot on net, their only shot of the half, but MW’s Katie Lauer came up with the stop.
“The atmosphere was different this game and I want us to keep that up,” Cano said. “Our teammates were encouraging each other and we were supportive of each other. And we kept that up the whole game.”
The Scarlets put a scare in the Trojans with just 13 minutes remaining when the MW offense was able to get a quick shot on net from only a few feet out. But Rowley came up big again making one of her 14 saves on the night on a diving grab.
“It was getting to be a very physical game and they kept their heads,” Ahlquist said. “And they played strong despite it.”
MW finally got on the board when Worthington failed to clear a bouncing ball in front of the net. Aisha Abdo put the ball in the back of the net to give the Scarlets a one goal lead with just over two minutes left.
“There were so many people in there and they were bobbling it instead of clearing the ball out,” Ahlquist said. “When there are so many people in there and it is getting hit inbetween people, you never know what is going to happen to it.”
The Trojans tried to get a last second goal to tie the game, but the Scarlets kept the ball clear of the net and the game ended in a 1-0 win for MW.
“If we can keep this effort up, that is what I asked of them,” Ahlquist said. “That is what is going to win us games. That is what is going to get us as far as we can go, if we keep this effort and attitude up.”
Worthington plays in Fairmont Monday before coming home to host Waseca Tuesday in its final game of the season.
MW 0 1 - 1
WHS 0 0 - 1
Daily Globe Reporter Jordan Willi
may be reached at 376-7335.