Nieland’s hat trick seals Austin win

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 8, 1999

Jamie Nieland isn’t resting on her laurels.

Wednesday, September 08, 1999

Jamie Nieland isn’t resting on her laurels.

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After leading the Packers in scoring last year as a junior, Nieland has wasted no time this year trying to duplicate her success from a year ago with a torrid assault on the Big Nine.

Nieland scored three goals against Mankato West in Mankato Tuesday night to lead the Packers to a 3-1 victory over the Scarlets. Nieland now has seven goals in Austin’s first three games and has accounted for all of Austin’s scoring this year.

"She’s definitely got one of the, if not the best shots on the team," said second-year head coach David Ingalls. "She’s a smart player."

Nieland scored the game’s first goal on a breakaway within the first 15 minutes of the first half.

Mankato West answered about five minutes later, tying the game up at 1-1.

Still in the first half, Nieland broke the tie with a shot off a free kick which sailed over the keeper’s head and into the back of the goal.

Nieland got the hat trick on another breakaway in the closing minutes of the first half.

In Austin’s season opening loss to Rochester Century, Nieland scored two goals and scored two more last Thursday at Winona to give the Packers a tie.

"Jamie is an important part of our team, but we want to get some goals from other players to take some of the pressure off her, and so we’re not relying on her too much," Ingaals said.

Ingalls said he saw a more varied attack on offense for the Packers against Mankato.

"Katy McClain and Sarah Huffer had some good shots at the net," Ingalls said. "They didn’t go in, but it was an improvement."

Junior Kellie Petersen was in goal for Austin.

"The defense did well," Ingalls said. "(Mankato West) didn’t get any real attempts after that first goal."

Ingalls said the Austin reserve players played well in the adverse weather conditions. The first half was humid and the second half began with a downpour.

The Austin (1-1-1) will be at Owatonna Thursday.

Austin boys fall to Mankato

Vlado Blagojevic stopped Austin’s scoring drought, but it wasn’t enough for the Packers Tuesday night against Mankato West. The Scarlets won 2-1 in a weather-shortened game at Wescott Field.

Blagojevic, who is simply known as "Vlade," scored Austin’s first goal of the year on a free kick midway through the first half. Austin had lost 3-0 in its two previous games to Rochester Century and Winona.

Blagojevic, a senior midfielder, scored Austin’s lone goal about 10 minutes after Mankato got on the board within the first eight minutes of the game on a header.

The Scarlets scored the winning goal off a breakaway one-on-one situation with Austin goalie Shane Peterson late in the first half.

The game was called off midway through the second half because of lighting. Although it was nearly 20 minutes short of a regular contest, the game was official, dropping the Packers record to 0-3.

Despite the slow start for the young Packers, head coach David Graham is seeing improvement in his relatively inexperienced team.

"I knew it would take a while," said Graham, who has almost as many sophomores (seven) as seniors (eight) on his varsity roster. "It was just a matter of the younger guys gelling together and getting used to playing at the varsity level."

One of those players is Peterson, who although he was on the varsity squad last year, is seeing his first significant playing time.

"Neither of those goals were really his fault," Graham said of Peterson, who made eight saves in his third start in goal.

"Mankato was really quick and a real strong team," Graham added.

To counter the Scarlets’ athleticism, Austin’s Drew Osterle made a return to the lineup after sitting out the Winona game because of a red card he received against Century.

"He came back fired up," Graham said of the aggressive defender’s return. "If you were in the stands, you could tell he was making his presence known."

When a situation had the potential to get too physical, Graham said Osterle, who is a team captain, kept his composure.

"I think that was good for the younger guys to see," Graham said.

Austin (0-3) will face Owatonna Thursday at Wescott Field.

Last year the Packers beat the Huskies, who will only be in their second season with a soccer program this year, 10-0 and 3-1.

"I’m expecting to win," Graham said of the matchup. "But it won’t be a pushover by any means."