Packers can’t finish off upset
The Packers gave one of the top teams in the Big Nine all it could handle, but Austin had to settle for a moral victory as it lost 3-2 in overtime to Mankato East in Art Hass Stadium Thursday.
The Cougars (8-1 overall, 4-1 Big Nine) took the lead for good with just under three minutes left in the second overtime when Hannah Whitington knocked in a shot with her left foot for her second goal of the night.
“It’s hard to lose a game like that,” said Austin sophomore midfielder Madeline Anderson, who scored two goals Thursday. “But we gave it our all, we played with our hearts and we played as a team.”
Austin (3-4 overall, 1-2 Big Nine) had one last chance to tie the contest when Carolyn Hackel’s flip pass from the sideline was stopped on a leaping save by East keeper Kelsey Ekstedt with 2:07 left in the match.
East forced overtime when Rebekah Kolstad headed in a corner kick to tie the the game at 2-2 in the 51st minute.
The Cougars had a couple of chances to go ahead in regulation but Austin keeper Chloe Summerfield stopped a point blank shot by East’s Marta Anderson with 18:11 left and Austin defender Taryn Sims broke up an East breakaway a few minutes later after the Cougars had gotten the ball past Summerfield.
Summerfield, a freshman, had nine saves, including a couple of diving stops, on the night.
“It’s really tough to lose these kind of games, but I’m very proud of my girls,” Austin head coach Enrique Camarena-Corzo said. “They never gave up and they played ninety minutes.”
Anderson put Austin on the board in the 23rd minute when she put back a missed shot by Breanna Ritter and she put Austin up 2-1 in the 42nd minute when she tipped in a flip pass by Carolyn Hackel.
Hackel’s sideline flip pass has become a dangerous play for the Packers as she can get the ball near the net in a hurry.
“For us, it’s like a corner kick,” Camerana-Corzo said. “We call it ‘magic’ and we’re happy to have a girl that has that gift. Not a lot of girls can do that and I think it helps that she’s in gymnastics.”
While it’s tough for the Packers to take a loss at home, Anderson was quick to point out how far Austin has come since last year.
“Mankato East is good and last year we probably lost to them 5-0,” she said. “We’re a better team now and we’re showing all of these teams that next year they better be ready again because we’re coming out hard. Even though we’ll lose some seniors, we’ll be back.”
The Packers fired 11 shots on goal in the loss.