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Laker girls' soccer continues winning ways

The early-season concerns that the young and inexperienced Detroit Lakes girls' soccer team would start the season out a bit slow have more than dwindled, after the Lakers stormed out of the gates with a 6-1-0 record.

Not even DL's traditional rival Fergus Falls -- which has always played the Lakers tough -- has been able to put a crinkle in their momentum through the early portion of the schedule.

The Lakers dominated the Otters Saturday at the DL Rotary Soccer Field Complex 6-1, then avoided a letdown Monday on the road with a 3-0 victory over Minnewaska.

The pair of wins stretched the Lakers' winning streak to five games, with a tough game against Grand Rapids looming Saturday.

"We look at Fergus Falls as always being a tough game, but our girls were just playing on a different level Saturday," said DL head coach Dave Carter. "It was a pleasure watching them play so well."

The Lakers didn't allow the Otters to even catch their breath out of the pregame warm-ups, as sophomore midfielder Libby Larson put a hard crack on goal after a accepting a pass from junior Danielle Eidenschink.

The shot snuck underneath the cross bar and just over the outstretched hands of the Otter goalie for the 1-0 lead, just 45 seconds into the game.

"I think that left Fergus Falls a bit shell-shocked, and it was very key to setting the tone for the game," Carter said.

A Jalen Even free kick outside the penalty box doubled the lead to 2-0, and the Lakers were off to the races.

The pressure continued on the FF defense, as the Lakers extended their lead to 3-0 on a corner kick by junior Jalen Even, with Eidenschink kicking the ball to the back of the net.

The Otters' lone strike came on a breakaway goal in the 37th minute by forward Liz Underwood, but the start of the second half once again tilted momentum back to the home team.

Forward Marta Borgeson found junior attacker Ali Aafedt open, as she put DL up 4-1 on her first tally of the season at the 46th minute.

The points kept pouring in at the 59th minute, on forward Emma Butzer's breakaway goal, which was followed by Aafedt's second goal of the game with six minutes remaining in the contest.

"The passing by our girls was so solid and looked so good," Carter said. "They were hustling and were the first ones to the balls."

Shots on goal favored DL by a 17-13 margin.

Amber Lee collected the win in net, while the defense again played well to limit any quality shots by Fergus Falls.

Monday, DL struck twice in the first half on goals by Butzer and sophomore attacker Sami Kiebke -- also her first goal of the season.

Butzer found her second goal of the game in the second half, on a cross pass by Jordan with nine minutes remaining in regulation.

DL outshot their counterpart Lakers 14-8, with four corner kicks to Minnewaska's one.

"It wasn't necessarily a beautiful game, but we were able to grit it out, although we weren't in danger of losing the game," Carter said.

Lee notched the shutout and her sixth win of the season.

The improbable start for the Lakers has been "due to team chemistry," according to Carter.

"The senior captains (Lee and defensive player Angela Peterson) have been working on and off the field, and this team is really gelling together well," Carter added. "Everyone has been working so hard on and off the field."

The Laker junior varsity suffered its first defeat, however, losing to Fergus Falls Saturday 1-0.

They rebounded nicely with a 4-0 victory over Minnewaska to set their record at an identical 6-1-0 to match the varsity.