Girls soccer falls in second half

By Jeremy Behnke

Journal Sports Editor

NEW ULM – The New Ulm girls soccer team has definitely figured out how to play well for the first 40 minutes of the game.

Now if only the Eagles could close out the game and finish strong, they should be a force in the upcoming Section 2A playoffs that begin on Tuesday.

New Ulm took a 1-0 lead into halftime against South Central Conference champion Waseca, but things got sloppy for the Eagles in the second half. For the second time in a week, the Eagles weren’t able to hold the lead as the Bluejays scored twice for the 2-1 at the Martin Luther College Soccer Complex.

Last week, New Ulm had a 1-0 lead over Mankato Loyola, but the Crusaders came back and scored two goals in the second half to pick up the win. The same thing happened on Thursday, a frustrating trend the Eagles hope to see end on Tuesday.

“It’s difficult, in both of those games they played so well in the first half and at halftime they’re all pumped up,” Eagles coach Jonathan Johnson said.?”They just come out flat in the second half and I can’t explain it. I asked them what happened and they all just kind of looked down at the ground.”

Nicole Moldstad scored New Ulm’s only goal on a penalty kick with 9:42 left in the first half. The Bluejays nearly tied the game with about 3:40 left in the first half, but New Ulm goalkeeper Claire Boeder was able to fall on a loose ball in front of the net before a Waseca attacker was able to get a shot off.

Waseca (11-0-3, 5-0-3 SCC) scored two unanswered goals in the second half as the Eagles lost their sixth straight game. Boeder finished the game with 14 saves and Waseca outshot New Ulm 16-9.

New Ulm (5-10) is the No. 8 seed in the 2A playoffs and it will host Hutchinson at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. If the Eagles hope to advance, they’ll have to play much better in the second half. New Ulm defeated the Tigers 6-0 earlier this year.

“That’s the key right there,” Johnson said. “We need to start out strong and keep Hutchinson on their heels. “The first time we played them, they didn’t have their top scorer because of a red-card violation. We need to pay attention [to her], because she’s scored most of their goals.”

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