Trojans top Eagles to gain semifinals

The New Prague Trojans upset the No. 2-seed New Ulm Eagles 1-0 in a penalty-kick shootout in their Section 2A quarterfinal match Thursday, Oct. 11, in New Ulm.

            The upstart Trojans, who had never won more than three games in a season prior to this year, upped their record to 7-11 and advanced to the semifinals against Mankato West on Tuesday, Oct. 16 (see separate story).


            The Trojans came into the game against New Ulm the decided underdogs despite having beaten the Eagles 1-0 earlier in the season.


            After 80 minutes of regular time and 10 minutes of overtime, the Trojans and Eagles had to settle the match with a penalty kick shootout. The Trojans got successful attempts from seniors Mikaela Algren, Katie Morris and Ali Jo Hoffman in their five shots. New Ulm was successful on two of their first four shots, and it all came down to the Eagle’s fifth shot, which if successful would have extended play.


            Trojan freshman goalkeeper Ally Kubes deflected a high shot off the cross bar and the  Trojans began celebrating. However, officials ruled that Kubes had come off the line early and awarded New Ulm another chance. Kubes smothered the shot and the celebration was resumed.


            Coach Steve Kehrli said the Trojan defenders Annie Dittberner, Rachel Haecherl and Michaela Emond did a great job of holding New Ulm in check, forcing low-percentage shots, and what they couldn’t stop, Kubes did, making 17 stops during regulation and overtime and three more in the shootout.


            “One of the keys to the game was defensive midfielder Liza Niedermayer, who had the job of marking New Ulm's best player. She held her opponent to just one shot. Morris, Algren and her sister Annie Algren also did a great job getting back and marking on the back side of the defensive line. 


            Kehrli said that Sophie Puente, Monica Kuehl, Leah Bissel and Cami Brod also played well and gave the team some good scoring opportunities.

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