Rochester Lourdes ends Esko-Carlton girls soccer season 2-0Fourth-ranked Rochester Lourdes stymied the Eskomos 2-0 in a Class A girls soccer state quarterfinal at Husky Stadium in St. Cloud, Minn. The loss takes Esko-Carlton out of the state tournament.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
ST. CLOUD — It’s not easy to defeat the Esko-Carlton girls soccer team. It’s even harder to hold them scoreless for 80 minutes.
Yet, that was the case Wednesday when fourth-ranked Rochester Lourdes stymied the Eskomos 2-0 in a Class A girls soccer state quarterfinal at Husky Stadium in St. Cloud, Minn.
Lourdes senior Hannah Anderson tapped in a rebound off a corner kick in the fifth minute, while sophomore Emily Glynn netted a 75th-minute strike and the Eagles’ defense held on for their 13th shutout this season.
“They’re a good team,” Esko-Carlton head coach Nicki Peterson said of the Eagles, who haven’t lost in over two months.
But like they have done all fall, the Eskomos didn’t back down.
Despite their early blunder, Esko-Carlton had plenty of chances to equalize things. No more than five minutes after trailing, Eskomos’ senior forward and leading-scorer Caitlin Lilly rifled a shot into the chest of Lourdes’ senior goalkeeper Marissa DiCecco, while in perhaps the biggest save of the night, DiCecco tipped Lilly’s whistler over the crossbar with just over two minutes remaining before halftime.
“We had our chances; it was fairly even other than the score,” Peterson said. “We just didn’t get one. They weren’t letting us as close to the net as we would like to, but we certainly had some opportunities.”
Peterson noted that her team didn’t quit fighting after falling behind early, but said Lourdes (18-1-1) early netter took a little wind out of their sails.
“It did, but we still got our legs under us five minutes later,” she said. “I felt like we were playing a little scared in those first five minutes.”
After all, it was just Esko-Carlton’s second state appearance in the program’s history, and first since 2005.
“I mean, yeah, anyone who comes down here wants to win, but I feel good about this year,” said Esko junior Brooke Schramm afterward.
“We made it to state, that was our goal,” added fellow junior Erika Olson. “We’ve been looking forward to this year for so long. It would have been better to make it a little further, but this won’t define us at all.”
Peterson didn’t hesitate to agree with her players.
“We put up a fight until the end,” she said. “It’s great for these girls to be down here and compete with this kind of competition. Lourdes has been top-10 ranked all year and there is not a big difference between the two teams. It’s good for them to experience that.”
For the record, Wednesday was only the second night the Eskomos (13-6-1) have been shutout this year in their 20 games played.
“It was just bad luck today,” said senior goalkeeper Rachel Ofstie after the loss. “But we’ve had so many goals this year and we’ve gotten them all.”
“I think some people failed to see the big picture, we made it to the state tournament,” Lilly added. “We’re in the top-eight in Minnesota. We came all the way here and we worked our butts off for it.”
Lilly led Esko-Carlton with 24 goals, and though she’ll graduate this spring and likely play collegiate soccer next fall, she’ll still be rooting for her alma matter when she can.
“I think we’re moving up,” she said. “I think we’ll be here again next year.”
Thursday, though, she’ll be back at Husky Stadium.
“We did what we were hoping to do,” Lilly concluded on her Eskomos season. “Now we’ll come back and cheer on the boys tomorrow.”
Esko-Carlton 0 – 0 — 0
Rochester Lourdes 1 – 1 — 2
First half — 1. RL, Hannah Anderson, 4:47.
Second half — 2. RL, Emily Glynn, 74:23.