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Girls soccer: Trojans show improvement in second game

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington girls soccer team showed improvement in its second game of the season. After losing 13-0 to Mankato Loyola on Thursday, the Trojans lost 8-0 to Austin on Friday at Trojan Field, but the team made some positive adjus...

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Worthington Trojans girls soccer player Savina Sonthana (2), playing midfield, takes the ball away from Austin's Ava Grev (5) and sets up a pass to Ahmitara Alwal (16) Friday afternoon in Worthington. Tim Middagh/Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington girls soccer team showed improvement in its second game of the season.

After losing 13-0 to Mankato Loyola on Thursday, the Trojans lost 8-0 to Austin on Friday at Trojan Field, but the team made some positive adjustments following their loss to Mankato Loyola on Thursday.

“Austin is a very good team,” head coach Emily Ahlquist said. “We’ve always had a tough time with them. We knew coming into the game that it was going to be tough. We had a good talk about having each other’s back and not waiting for someone else to do it. They did better with that in the second half.”

Ahmitara Alwal was a force in the defensive midfield throughout the game. She played full bore, getting in front of the Packers’ offensive attack and overpowering the midfield. She broke up a number of offensive tries by Austin, intercepting passes and sending balls up to the Worthington forwards to get the attack started on the right foot.

“(Alwal) is a very good midfielder,” Ahlquist said. “She’s got a lot of drive and the desire to do well. We had her at forward last year and she wasn’t getting the ball enough, so I put her back in the midfield because she wants to go after it. She is a good leader in the midfield.”

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Allison Xayasane was solid in goal again for the Trojans, making several impressive saves. On one save, she got in front of a shot by Packers attacking midfielder Maya Wuertz in the 20th minute. Wuertz came marauding up the right wing with support up the middle from Monika Vargas. She decided to take the shot herself rather than lay it off and Xayasane leaped in front of it to prevent the ball from finding the net.

Xayasane couldn’t keep every ball out of the net, however, as Austin put shot after shot on goal. The Packers broke through for their first goal in the sixth minute. Emily Hegna intercepted a Trojan pass and ran through the middle of the pitch unopposed to open the scoring.

Austin midfielder Sydney Marsh followed that up less than a minute later with a goal from the left wing to move the score to 2-0.

The Trojans worked hard to climb out of the deficit in the latter portions of the first half, but couldn’t get on the board. Melissa Soukphilanouvong and Saida Garcia linked up on passes up the left wing and gave the Packers defenders something to worry about.

“We had more combinations of good passes today” Ahlquist said. “But having two or three combinations throughout the game is not enough. We need to do better than that in order to keep control of the ball.”

Despite facing some friction in the first half, Austin struck three more times, with goals by Monika Vargas and Morgan Raymond to go into halftime with a 5-0 lead.

The Packers added three more goals in the second half, including a long-range strike by Kallie Bumgarner. She ran down a loose ball on the right wing and uncorked a 25 yard bender that came in right beneath the crossbar and found the back of the net. Isabelle Reuter and Wuertz scored the other goals in the half.

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Austin 5 3 -- 8

Worthington 0 0 -- 0

Related Topics: GIRLS SOCCER
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