Lockdown defenders

Marshall blanks Saints for second straight scoreless draw

Photo by Jake McNeill Marshall’s Hannah Gordon splits a pair of defenders during the Tigers’ 0-0 draw against St. Peter in Marshall on Tuesday night.

MARSHALL — The Marshall girls soccer team showed up to its match against St. Peter motivated. The Saints had ended the Tigers’ season last year with a 3-0 loss in the section quarterfinals and had gotten off to a 7-0-1 start this year. Marshall wasn’t able to get the win but they handed St. Peter its first scoreless outcome of the season to save a 0-0 tie.

“I think the team gets a little extra motivation every time they face a good team,” Marshall head coach Jose Losada-Montero said. “We were just very focused, very intense game.”

St. Peter’s strength was their ability to control possession of the game. In the first half in particular, the Tigers were hardly able to get the ball out of the defensive third. Still, Marshall’s backs buckled down and prevented the attacking Saints from being able to capitalize.

“They are very solid, very strong, very physical, so we try to keep to the challenge,” Losada-Montero said. “We have a lot of young girls. We’ve got seventh graders and eighth graders playing here, so it was a challenge for them and we’re pretty happy about that.”

Marshall didn’t get an abundance of opportunities on the offensive end but were able to manage some good looks. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t bounce their way. On one notable instance in the first half, Elsie Deutz received a corner kick by the goal and tried to launch the ball into the opposite corner. The ball bounced off the crossbar and again off the side post before rolling harmlessly away from the goal.

“I think it’s our fifth or sixth crossbar this season, so I was just kind of begging for a little luck,” Losada-Montero said. “Sometimes we’re getting a lot of chances but we’re not capitalizing. Sometimes I think we’re getting very, very close. I think we hit the crossbar at least once per game.

“I was very happy also because, as you said, we were very strong, or tried to be a strong defense, but at the same time we were also looking to win the game,” Losada-Montero said. “We’re looking for more. We’re not only looking for a tie or to be solid, but we try to, once we get the ball back, try to move the ball to switch to the sides and find the right opportunities. We got some of them but weren’t able to capitalize, but I think we’re overall very happy with the game.”

The Tigers also had a pair of good looks in the second half, one of which was a screamer that also went off the crossbar and the other being a shot from Braelynn Wing from the center of the box that unfortunately ended up going right at the goalkeeper.

While Marshall didn’t come away with the win, that doesn’t mean competing well against a good team isn’t without its moral victories. For Losada-Montero, the win showed the team’s competitive spirit.

“It’s an 80-minute game here and sometimes you lose focus for one or two minutes and you get a goal against. I think what we’re getting from here is that you need to work 80 minutes, from the first one until the very last one,” Losada-Montero said. “I think that competitiveness that they brought today, if we’re able to bring that every game, that’s what we’re looking for.”

Marshall (3-4-2) will head to Madelia for a matchup against St. James Area on Thursday at 7 p.m.


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