Fast start lifts Austin girls soccer team

Published 9:59 pm Monday, October 6, 2008

Early aggression set the tone for the Packer girls soccer team as they cruised to 3-0 win over Faribault in the first round of the Section 1A playoffs Monday at Art Hass Stadium.

Austin will play at No. 2 Mankato West Thursday at 7 p.m.

The seventh-seeded Packers (3-9-3 overall) came out strong on offense and they opened the scoring when Nina Blazevic knocked in a shot attempt from Tina Vorphal about 10 minutes into the match.

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“It was kind of supposed to be Tina’s goal but I went in there and tapped it before it went in,” Blazevic, a senior defender, said. “I crashed on the play.”

In all, Austin took 11 shots in the first half, and the Packers took a commanding 2-0 lead when Anna Anderson outran the Falcon defense for a breakaway goal, which she shot from about 15 yards out with 10 minutes left in the first half.

Austin head coach Mark Raymond said he was pleased his team took that two goal lead to halftime.

“It’s been said that that two goal lead is the hardest to protect,” he said. “It was nice to get it and go into the half and be able to talk about the idea that we weren’t done and we didn’t want to play 40 minutes of defense.”

Austin stayed aggressive in the second half and Tina Vorphal iced it with a goal with seven minutes remaining in the match.

There’s a lot of things that went right for us tonight,” Raymond said. “The girls kept their heads up the whole time and we avoided the letdown when we did score.”

The Falcons (2-12-1 overall) had beaten Austin 2-0 in the regular season, and the Packers did not want the same result on Monday.

“We knew we could beat them the first time we played them, so there was a little revenge there. We came out playing our game and it paid off,” Blazevic said.

Freshman goal keeper Maing Garcia had 13 saves — including a second half stop on a point-blank attempt — and backup keeper Kaityln Stark made a late save to preserve to the shutout.

“(Maing’s) young but she’s got a lot of experience and she’s learned a lot,” Blazevic said. “We rely on her to make a lot of saves.”

Austin lost to Mankato West (11-4-1 overall) by a score of 5-1 in the regular season.

“We’re gonna have to play a very similar game if not better to play with them,” Raymond said.