Packers blank Tigers

Published 11:25 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Austin's Jake Hagen-Erickson, works to get past Albert Lea's Elias Lazaro during the first half Tuesday night at Art Hass Stadium. - Eric Johnson/

A note to future opponents of the Austin boys soccer team — it’s best not to get Francisco Torres mad.

Torres, a junior midfielder, scored two breakaway second half goals and dished out an assist as the Packers (2-0 overall, 1-0 Big Nine) beat Albert Lea (0-1 overall, 0-1 Big Nine) 4-0 in a physical game at Art Hass Stadium Tuesday.

Torres started his offensive barrage in the 58th minute when he shook off a defender and launched a shot from the right side into the left corner of the net to make it a 2-0 game.

Francisco Torres avoids and a slide tackle against Albert Lea Tuesday night at Art Hass Stadium. - Eric Johnson/

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Later in the second half, an Albert Lea defender tried to throw Torres off his game when he shoved him in the back and knocked him into the ground.

“I was kind of mad, because they were shoving me and that made me more mad,” Torres said. “I work hard in practices so I can beat defenses like I did today.”

The ploy didn’t work as minutes later Torres took a deep pass from Nick Brehmer and beat three Albert Lea defenders down the field, crossed over and fired one into the back of the net with five minutes left in the match. When the smoke cleared, Torres was celebrating as all three Albert Lea defenders and the keeper were on the ground.

Two minutes later, Torres found Jake Hagen-Erickson on a crossing pass to make it 4-0.

“To come out 4-0 against Austin’s oldest rivals is huge,” Austin head coach Jens Levisen said. “The guys knew there would be a lot of emotions and it would be a very intense game. I keep telling the guys that we know what our game is and we play our game. We noticed some things happening in the field, but we play how we play.”

Nick Brehmer steps in on Albert Lea's Cesar Herrera during the first half Tuesday night at Art Hass Stadium. - Eric Johnson/

While the Austin offense attempted 20 shots on goal, the defense did its job by holding the Tigers to just eight shots, and most of those were not good looks.

“It was lots of talking and making sure to pressure the ball,” Austin defender Zack Vierkandt said. “We also had to watch the wet grass and watch how the ball skips.“

While the game got chippy in the second half, the Packers did a good job of staying focused on the task at hand.

“It’s best to keep our heads into it, because once they start shoving, their heads are out of the game and we’re still focusing on the game,” Vierkandt said.

Austin has started the season off by outscoring its opponents 10-0 in two contests. Hagen-Erickson opened the scoring on Tuesday when he blasted a shot into the net on a pass from Barrush Terrazas in the 10th minute of the game.

“The players trust each other to play their positions and we need that,” Levisen said.