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Girls soccer: Garretson outscores Trojans, 4-1

Worthington Trojans Jessica Ventura and Betty Garcia (14) come in to stop the offensive threat from Garretson's Morgan Damman (front, in white) and Rachel Kindt (2) Thursday. (Tim Middagh / The Globe)1 / 2
Worthington's Beatriz Gabriel (20) takes the ball from Garretson forward Riley Altman (4) as Worthington's Yesenia Cruz (15) and the Blue Dragons' Morgan Damman follow the action. (Tim Middagh / The Globe)2 / 2

WORTHINGTON -- Offense was hard to come by for the Worthington Trojans girls soccer team Thursday at Trojan Field, and the locals were turned back by the Garretson Blue Dragons 4-1.

It was a game the Trojans thought they could win.

“We defeated ourselves in this game. We were very sloppy. It took at least 20 minutes before we were able to put passes together,” said WHS head coach Emily Ahlquist afterward.

The Trojans, now 0-4-1 on the season, had at least a little offense. Senior Jacqueline Perez scored a goal with 12:45 remaining in the first half, tying the score at 1-1. But there were no more Trojan goals after that, and Garretson -- after taking a 2-1 lead at halftime -- scored two unanswered goals in the second half.

Ahlquist considered the game a missed opportunity.

“There were hardly any connecting passes,” she said. “And they were slow to the ball. I began to just take them out and put girls in who were ready to run and ready to play. And that’s when we started to do better.”

For the first half of the first half, the game was played mostly on Worthington’s end of the pitch, as the South Dakota visitors put mild pressure on the Trojans’ goal. Finally, with 28:56 showing on the clock, Garretson’s Paige Sterud found net on a low-angled shot from about 30 yards away. It cleanly struck the back of the Trojans’ net.

Down 1-0, Worthington continued struggling to connect passes, content mostly just to make kicks to clear the ball from danger. Offense just wasn’t there.

But not entirely. With about 13 minutes remaining in the half, Worthington worked a nice advantage near the Blue Dragons’ goal as Ariel Reveles, Victoria Esquivel and Yesenia Cruz tried to maneuver the ball for a makeable shot against just two defenders. They were unable to score, but seconds later -- at 12:45 -- Perez struck net to tie the contest at 1-1.

The deadlock lasted for a little more than six minutes. Garretson’s Kyley Greenhoff scored on a free kick about 35 feet from net that went right past the WHS goalkeeper, who was perfectly positioned in front of the ball ready to stop it.

With 13:46 remaining in the second half, Worthington had a great opportunity to score when two Trojan players outran the entire Garretson defense with only the goalkeeper standing in the way of a point. Reveles took the shot, and it was stopped short.

Garretson put more pressure on a Worthington comeback bid with a Morgan Damman goal with 8:16 remaining. Allison Ebbing scored the last goal with 2:38 to go.

After the game, Ahlquist gave her team some credit.

“We’ve gotten, I think, four goals this season. We’re making steps. But it’s got to be better,” she said.

Garretson 2 2 -- 4Worthington 1 0 -- 1
Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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