The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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October 28, 2013

West unable to fend off KNIGHTS' ATTACK

Scarlets fall in state soccer semifinals

MINNEAPOLIS — The Benilde-St. Margaret's attackers just kept coming and coming.

Eventually, the Mankato West defense, which was very good early, had some holes, and senior goalkeeper Katie Lauer, who made some spectacular saves, couldn't stop them all.

"I was proud of how hard we worked," senior defender McKenna Peters. "That wasn't an easy team to play against. They moved a lot, and they knew where they wanted to pass. That's probably the first time we've played a team that moved the ball so quickly."

No. 2 seed Benilde-St. Margaret's defeated Mankato West 5-1 in the semifinals of the Class A girls soccer tournament Monday at Metrodome. Benilde-St. Marget's, which was ranked No. 1 in the state coaches poll most of the season, had a 14-4 advantage in shots on goal.

"You're always disappointed when you lose, but it's bittersweet," West coach Crissy Makela said. "We have a team that made it to the Dome, which is something new for our program, and to get beat by a team like Benilde isn't bad. But at the same time, it's not OK to lose."

The possession was pretty even early, but the West defense had a bad break when a clearing pass hit the Benilde attacker and deflected toward the goal. Lauer didn't have much of a chance on the close-range shot.

"I think we stepped back after they scored," Peters said. "When they get you down, they're strong. It was nice to get back in it at the end and have some fun."

Benilde-St. Margaret's pressure took its toll in the 32nd minute as the lead increased to 2-0. By halftime, Benilde-St. Margaret's had nine shots on goal, and a couple of others that hit the post, while the Scarlets had none.

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