Girls Soccer: From the highs to the lows, DL feels it all in playoffs
Detroit Lakes 0 St. Cloud Cathedral 2
Coming off what could be considered one of its biggest victories in the program’s history, an emotionally and physically exhausted Detroit Lakes girls’ soccer team couldn’t keep the momentum rolling in the Section 8-1A semifinals after losing to St. Cloud Cathedral 2-0 at St. Cloud State University Tuesday.
There were several of obstacles stacked against the No. 2 North seeded Lakers (13-4-2) against the No. 1 South’s St. Cloud Cathedral (13-4-1) squad, but the biggest one came three minutes into the game.
With the skies dark and pelting the SCSU field with wind and rain, the Crusaders struck first in the third minute of the game, after pushing down the middle of the field and attacker Maddie Curtis putting her shot by DL goalie Kathryn Foltz.
“They just went straight down the middle of the field with some good dribbling and technique,” said DL head coach Dave Carter. “With the weather conditions the way they were, whichever team scored first was going to hold a huge advantage.”
St. Cloud Cathedral continued an aggressive attack, instead of going into defensive mode, and punched the second goal with 15:28 left in the first half on a header by Annie Johnson off a Mariah Sperl free kick.
After that, then defensive mode was set by the Crusaders, as they nursed the 2-0 margin into a semifinal victory.
“We threw everything at them in the second half and that was with minimal subs,” Carter said. “We just couldn’t get enough from our attack and St. Cloud Cathedral had good depth, which has been something of a real problem for us for a while now.”
The Lakers did put together several nice combination plays for quality shots on net, but there wasn’t enough of them, as the Crusaders outshot DL by a 32-12 margin.
Entering the game, the Lakers were coming off their highest of highs, which came to an apex Saturday at Rotary Soccer Complex in a 2-1 shootout victory over arch nemesis East Grand Forks.
The emotional fluctuations were all over the map, from steady with a 1-0 lead all the way through the game, to a canyon bottom when the Green Wave scored the tying goal with just under a minute remaining on a corner kick.
But the Lakers regrouped and eventually forced a shootout, after neither team found the net in the two 10-minute sudden death overtime periods.
The Laker goal came in the 24th minute, when forward Jade Olson pulled back her dribble and found sophomore attacker Halle Jordan, who unleashed an unstoppable shot on net.
The entire starting Laker lineup stayed on the field throughout the entire second half and stymied the potent Green Wave attack, all the way up to the final minute, where a corner kick resulted in a 1-1 tie.
“It was just an emotional swing,” Carter said. “But I thought if we could make it through the two 10-minute overtime periods, we were going to win the shootout.”
Carter’s confidence reigned supreme from his senior goalie, Foltz, who proved she was worthy of such praise.
Foltz stuffed two EGF shootout attempts, while the Lakers found money by Addie Kay Johnson, Olson and Anya Butzer.
The DL fans – which numbered near the 200 mark - thought the game was over after Butzer’s goal and prematurely mobbed the Laker team.
But with the referees clearing the field, the EGF goalie saved Anna Payne’s attempt to force another shot by the Green Wave.
But Foltz wasn’t going to let this playoff game slip away and put her hands on the shot to officially end the playoff quarterfinal game.
“Kat (Foltz) is very good and reading and anticipating where the kick is going,” Carter said. “It was such an emotional win and one of our biggest wins in a long time.
“I just don’t think we had enough time to recover from it physically or emotionally (for the semifinal game).”
The South’s No. 2 seeded Sartell defeated No. 1 North Alexandria to advance to the finals against St. Cloud Cathedral, which will be played Thursday at SCSU at 7:30 p.m.