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Girls soccer: Fairmont scores in a flurry, beats Worthington

Worthington's Jacqueline Perez (4) fires a shot on goal as teammate Marilyn Orellana (6) looks back and Fairmont's Kaylean Thingstad and Worthington's Ariel Reveles chase after her. (Tim Middagh / The Globe)1 / 2
Ariel Reveles (50) of Worthington steals the ball away from the Fairmont Cardinals' Jenna Lee Gustafson (14). (Tim Middagh / The Globe)2 / 2

BY KARL EVERS-HILLSTROM

The Globe

WORTHINGTON — With 30 minutes gone by in the first half, the Worthington Trojans girls soccer team was down just one goal against the Fairmont Cardinals.

Then the floodgates opened. With an onslaught of crosses and forward passes that led to an onslaught of shots on goal, the Cardinals eventually broke through, going on to win 9-0 in the season opener.

“They were really good at crosses, so we have to be able to clear the crosses and shut them down before they even start,” said Trojans coach Emily Ahlquist.

The Cardinals dominated possession from the start, not letting the ball into their own half for the first six minutes. That didn’t immediately translate into goals until freshman forward Rayah Quiring secured a rebound and scored on a close-range shot just a few minutes later.

The tall, lanky winger dribbled her way past defenders for her second goal in the 38th minute to make it 3-0, then secured a hat trick on a header one minute into the second half to make it 4-0.

She would have done more damage if not for a handful for miraculous saves by Worthington goalie Rosario Dominguez. Dominguez ended the game with 16 saves, including several point-blank saves in which she was surrounded by Cardinals.

“She’s fearless, so she’ll come out to try to stop shots … we just have to work on those situations,” Ahlquist said.

In the second half, Fairmont abused its speed advantage over the Trojans, sending volleys down the pitch to sprinting attackers who outran their defenders.

Freshman forward Sami Lenort was a big beneficiary of the longball, scoring two goals in the final dozen minutes.

In the 42nd minute, senior midfielder Grace Higgins dribbled past several Trojan defenders, opting to shoot the ball herself rather than pass to one of four open teammates.

The Trojans had little time of possession and three shots on goal, but the team had some bright spots offensively. The team pushed through accurate passes to Marilyn Orellana, who was able to use her skill to get past defenders. However, in most cases, multiple Cardinals defenders caught up and stalled the attack, eventually forcing an errant pass from Worthington and countering with a deep pass.

“We’ve got a really good through ball up front, but we need to work on finishing the pass,” Ahlquist said, noting that Fairmont’s defensive positioning and shifting was excellent.

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