Laker girls continue to blank opponents picking up fourth shutout of the season

Junior Kate Stearns gets the ball up and over Crookston keeper Reese Swanson on an offensive rush during DL’s fourth victory of the season Thursday. Robert Williams / Tribune

The Laker girls soccer team extended its winning streak to three games and recorded a fourth shutout victory in five games defeating Crookston 4-0 at Rotary Soccer Park Thursday night.

Crookston made an initial rush after the opening whistle getting a quality scoring chance early but was unable to muster much else as Detroit Lakes controlled play in the first half.

Pirate keeper Reese Swanson and the Crookston defense kept DL at bay until senior captain Maddy Bowers scored late in the half on a breakaway.

Bowers' shot was initially saved by Swanson but Bowers corralled and buried the rebound to go to halftime up 1-0.

The Lakers had a scoring opportunity denied when time ran out in the half with DL set up with a free kick just outside the 18 yard box.


The teams played a week ago in Crookston and the game had a familiar feel on the scoreboard. DL came away with a 1-0 victory on Sept. 3, but the Lakers were dominant in both halves of play Thursday night.

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Laker senior midfielder Kylie Swiers fires a shot on the Crookston net from long range late in the game of a 4-0 home victory over the Pirates Thursday, Sept. 10. Robert Williams / Tribune

“The score doesn’t say how much better we played this game,” said DL head coach Ben Aastuen. “The girls came out and they knew what they wanted to do and really played some great soccer out there. It was fun to watch.”

Aastuen and assistant coach Jessica Pudwill had specific plays drawn up to get behind a speedy Pirate defense and that worked for DL’s second goal.

Four minutes into the second half, Sophie Gunderson sent a free kick over the defense finding Bowers who scored low on the left side for a 2-0 lead.

Junior Kate Stearns scored two minutes later after an Alex Bettcher shot was deflected by a Pirate defenseman. Swanson tried to play the ball but Stearns nabbed it and buried her shot for a 3-0 lead six minutes into the second half.


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A Crookston defender tries to knock DL senior captain Maddy Bowers off a header attempt in the second half of the Lakers’ shutout victory Thursday night. Robert Williams / Tribune

Bowers completed the hat trick getting loose again behind the Crookston (2-3) defense scoring on a breakaway with a hard shot past Swanson for the final tally of the game.

DL has done a great job of finding forwards Bowers and Stearns offensively this season and both players are cashing in when given the opportunity. Both players had multiple scoring chances in both halves.

“Really excited to see where those two as a tandem front can go,” Aastuen said.

The Lakers play again this week at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls Saturday, Sept. 12 at 1:30 p.m. The JV plays at 3:30 p.m. DL’s junior varsity got in on the act with a shutout of their own winning 3-0.

DL’s freshman keeper Elle Bettcher has made saves when she’s had to and is the benefactor of the Lakers strong defensive play so far this season.

All five games played have been shutouts with four of those wins. In four victories, DL (4-1) is outscoring opponents 22-0. The only loss was at home to undefeated 3-0 East Grand Forks by a score of 4-0 on Sept. 1. DL and EGF meet two more times this season.

Streak continues at Hillcrest

The Lakers extended their winning streak to four games and improved to 5-1 with another shutout Saturday afternoon at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy.


DL scored four goals in each half led by three players with multi-goal games.

Alex Bettcher scored twice in the first half, along with a goal each from Maddy Bowers and Kate Stearns for a 4-0 halftime lead

Bowers added two goals in the second half for her second hat trick in two games. Stearns tallied her second goal of the game and Ava Jones capped the scoring.

DL has four games remaining on the regular season schedule.

Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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