The Red Wing girls' soccer team edged Stewartville 2-1 in a shootout in the second round of the Section 1A tournament on Thursday.
Winger Cadence Thorson received a cross pass from Anna Bowes and tied the game 1-1 with 3 minutes remaining in the game.
Neither team could find the back of the net in both 10 minute overtime periods. In the shootout, Sydney Rahn, Ella Sutherland and Lauren Radtke scored for the Wingers. Winger goalkeeper Tori Senty saved the first and third Tiger shot attempts with the second hitting the post.
Red Wing head coach Taylor Becker said everyone contributed in the win, especially the defenders.
"We felt our defenders did a great job of keeping their dangerous chances to the wide areas where Tori could clean them up a bit easier," Becker said. "Ella Scott and Anna Bowes in particular had a great dynamic game for us on the sides defensively and feeding the ball into our attacking players."
Red Wing travels to play fourth seed Byron on Saturday in the Section 1A quarterfinal.
In September, Red Wing and PIZM needed overtime to decide the winner. In the first round of the Section 1A girls’ soccer tournament on Tuesday, the two teams again remained tied at the end of regulation.
Sophomore Winger Cadence Thorson had a shot deflected that rolled gently into the corner of the net 90 seconds into the first sudden death overtime period. Normally playing on the left side, Thorson was playing right forward when her shot snuck in.
“I started celebrating before it went in. I just knew,” Thorson said.
Thorson’s goal was the only scoring in the game as the Wingers advanced to the second round with a 1-0 win.
For both teams, scoring chances were few and far between. The Wingers had a glorious chance to score in the final minute of the first half. Lillie Sonju received a pass from the middle and was all alone inside the 5-yard line. From a sharp angle, Sonju attempted to center the ball but was denied by a Wildcat defender crashing the net.
“Our chances weren't going to come from possession,” Red Wing head coach Taylor Becker said. “We were going to score by beating them with our forwards.
“We had Ashten (Chandler) up front, but the rest are freshmen and sophomores. Eventually it starts clicking.”
The Wildcats had a few chances of similar variety. A Wildcat forward would streak to the outside, pass to the middle and the receiving forward looked to shoot. The Wingers double- even triple-guarded the centering pass, which allowed the Wildcats to have control of the ball, but without a clear shot to take.
The Wingers had chances of their own, but some were negated on an offsides call. Thorson had a shot to break the scoreless tie in the second half with a clear shot, but it went wide left.
Frustrated from a missed chance earlier in the game, Thorson said the team knew before overtime began a goal was coming.
In overtime, Thorson made up for the missed opportunity with the game’s only goal.
“It was so fun. I just jumped into (everyone’s arms),” Thorson said.
The win was a reminder of just how much the Wingers rely and, maybe more importantly, trust its sophomores on the roster.
Thorson, Alyssa Malyon, Camille DeSutter, Elle Guse, Ella Ponto have played a big part in getting the Wingers to a second round section game. All season long, the sophomores have been the “core group” for the team.
“They're always here and ready to go,” Becker said. “A lot of minutes go to that group in particular. I think they work really well together.”
Among the many qualities the sophomores have, one is the ability to read the game well.
Thorson said the Ponto and DeSutter are some of the best distributors of the ball, and Guse helps limit the damage defensively.
The other sophomore that has been most noticeable throughout the season has been goalkeeper Tori Senty.
The Wingers missed Senty in net the final two games of the regular season due to an injury. It was the end of a tough stretch for the Wingers in which the team lost four straight, getting outscored 9-3.
Senty could barely bend over, but made a recovery in time for the section playoffs.
“She came ready to play. I think every game she gets more confident and more aware of her ability and her potential in games like this,” Becker said of Senty.
For Thorson to score the game-winner, Becker said it is a morale booster for the team.
“To come up in moments like this is really good for the confidence level for the group,” Becker said, “but particularly for (the sophomores) that gets a lot of minutes and maybe doesn't see the results always go their way.”
Red Wing travels to Stewartville for a Section 1A second-round match on Thursday.