Packers crush Albert Lea 8-3

Published 11:22 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Riley Grinstead carries the ball toward the Tigers' zone Monday in Albert Lea. Austin won 8-3. -- Brandi Hagen/Albert Lea Tribune

ALBERT LEA — Francisco Torres had two goals and three assists and Abinyan Lual netted a hat trick in the second half as the Austin boys soccer team showed exactly how much firepower it has when it beat Albert Lea 8-3 on the road Tuesday.

The Packers (4-0 overall, 2-0 Big Nine) fired off 36 shots in the win and they scored their eight goals in the first 55 minutes of the game.

Austin rested its starters for the last 25 minutes.

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“I think Albert Lea is a stronger team than they were last year, but the boys came to play tonight,” Austin head coach Jens Levisen said.

The Tigers (1-1 overall, 0-1 Big Nine) scored a goal to tie the game at 1-1 in the eighth minute and they scored to make it 4-2 early in the second half but Austin had answers both times.

Omot Okello had two goals and an assist for the Packers, Jake Hagen-Erickson had a goal and Roel Torres and Nick Brehmer had assists.

Austin, which took second in the Big Nine last season, is hosting the defending Big Nine champs Rochester Mayo (3-1 overall, 1-0 Big Nine) Thursday at 7 p.m. at Art Hass Stadium.

The Packers tied Mayo for the first time in school history last season and have never beaten the Spartans.

“That’s going to be a really big test for us,” Levisen said.