Packer girls put up a fight in final home match of the season

Published 9:26 pm Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Austin girls soccer team put together one of its better performances of the season against a tough foe to close out its regular season in Art Hass Stadium Thursday night.

The Packers hung around for most of the night against Mankato West, but ended up on the short end of a 4-0 score.

The Scarlets (10-4-2 overall) scored twice in the last five minutes to break the game open that was highly contested throughout. For the Packer seniors, Thursday’s game was most likely their last one at Art Hass Stadium.

“I think we were all really excited to play on our home field one last time. We were fired up and we had a lot of pump up music in the locker room before the game,” Austin senior Megan Schultz said. “Even though this was a loss, I feel like this was one our best games. We made a lot of really good plays and I think this was the best game we could have before Sections. I think we’re ready.”

Mya Walters had 29 saves in net for Austin (2-12 overall) to keep her team close. 

“The fans kept me in it and the team was pumping me up throughout all of the shots that I was facing,” Walters said.

Austin had three shots on goal and it’s best chance came when Sarah Wangen was denied on a 20-yard shot with Austin trailing 2-0 with 19:00 left in the game.

Mankato West took a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game, but the Packers played tough defense to hold them scoreless for the next 48 minutes.

Austin hopes to bring that intensity to the table when it opens Section 1AA Tournament play nex Tuesday.

“The biggest thing I’ve been preaching to the girls all year is to come out with fire and heart each match,” Austin head coach Jake Levisen said. “As a coach, I’m really impressed that the girls were able to come out with that heart and that fire tonight. We know the fire is going to be burning really strong on Tuesday and this was a great match to get us physically and mentally ready for sections. Tonight we showed what we’re capable of and now we just have to fine tune our gaps and I’m sure we’ll turn some heads around.”