Packers drop soccer opener

Published 1:48 pm Thursday, August 25, 2011

Austin's Hannah Voogd runs the ball ahead of Fairmont's Nicole Lenort (8) and Morgan Timmerman (21), setting herself up for a shot in the first half Thursday at Art Hass Stadium. The shot went wide left. - Eric Johnson/

The Austin girls soccer team’s season opener started on a high note, but ended in a low note as it fell 3-1 to Fairmont at Art Hass Stadium Thursday afternoon.

Austin's Nicole Lipari turns on a ball in front of Fairmont's Caitlin Parsley during the first half Thursday at Art Hass Field.- Eric Johnson/

The Packers (0-1 overall) struck first when junior Nicole Lipari hooked a shot into the back of the net on a feed from Rachel Needham in the seventh minute of the match.

Fairmont freshman Sierra Schultz put the Cardinals in control when she scored two goals deep in the zone in a nine-minute span to make it 2-1 at the half.

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“I think we started strong, but unfortunately when they scored a goal against us, we put our heads down a little bit,” Austin head coach Enrique Camarena-Corzo said. “That’s something we need to work on. It doesn’t matter how many goals they score, we’ve got to stick it back and get back in it.”

Austin had a few chances to tie the game in the second frame as Kristen Carlson had a shot go just wide left with 24 minutes left and Brianna Ritter had a point blank shot come up empty when Fairmont’s Shannon Christianson made a diving stop in net with 17 minutes left in the match.

Austin’s keeper Abby Gallaher kept her team in the game as she made a leaping stop on a shot by Christianson in the second half and she finished the match with 11 saves.

Austin's Rebekah Simerson (13) vies for control of the ball against Fairmont's Katy Kelley during the first half Thursday at Art Hass Stadium. - Eric Johnson/

The Cardinals didn’t put the game away until Katie Nicoson launched a line drive just over Gallaher’s reach with 1:39 left the contest.

“At halftime we adjusted (our defense) and it got better. We started having confidence in ourselves,” Camarena-Corzo said.

Art Hass Stadium was packed for the contest as students from Sumner Elementary filled the stands.

“It was really good for our team and for the Sumner students,” Camarena-Corzo said. “We also appreciate all of the fans who came out to watch us.”