NEW ULM - One could almost hear the sigh of relief by Bridgette Brown after she scored a goal with 15:36 left in the game Tuesday.
The sophomore attacker managed to evade Hutchinson defenders all game long, out-racing them for many scoring chances throughout the game.
But all of those shots either misfired or were stopped until she got in front of the net late in the game and finally put one in the back of the net.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Bridgette Brown gets a scoring chance as Hutchinson’s Michelle Dennison defends on the play during the first round of the Section 2A Playoffs Tuesday at the Martin Luther College Soccer Complex in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Just for good measure, she got loose on a breakaway 21 seconds later and scored another goal, leading the Eagles to a 2-0 victory over Hutchinson in the Section 2A playoffs at Martin Luther College.
The win means the Eagles (6-10-1) get to face a familiar opponent in No. 1 seed St. Peter at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Saints beat the Eagles 4-1 and 4-2 this season.
As for Brown, she admitted there was some frustration before finally getting that first goal. She had a few breakaways and open shots before getting that elusive goal.
"I was really, really frustrated," she said.?"I was just thinking that I really needed to make these if we wanted to win. We were playing really well the entire game, it was just a matter of getting the ball in the net."
To say New Ulm dominated the ball the entire game would be an understatement. The Eagles took 31 shots compared to only five for the Tigers. Yet somehow the game remained scoreless. After that first goal, it didn't take long for her to give an encore presentation.
She out-ran the Hutchinson defenders and got open on a breakaway. There was no denying her this time around.
"I just put it low to the corner and just knew that she couldn't get it there," Brown said.
New Ulm coach Jonathan Johnson knew that there was some frustration at halftime. But he let them figure out things on their own, and that worked.
"I let them speak their mind at halftime and see how the game was going, and after I'll put my two cents in and they'll give me their comments," Johnson said.?"It seems to work out real well, they see the game a lot better than I do from the sideline when they're out on the field. They see all the stuff and they're playing well on their own."
The offense definitely shined for the Eagles, but the defense wasn't too shabby either. Led by six-year varsity player Sarah Petersen, the Eagles were constantly disrupting the Tigers (5-11). That meant that junior goalkeeper Claire Boeder had to make only five saves.
"We knew that they had their top scorer back, so we were just trying to shut them down,"?Petersen said.?"We were just trying to focus on really staying strong and just making sure that they don't get those shots off."
Now the Eagles battle the Saints in what should be another chapter to add to the rivalry between the two squads. Since the 2010 season, the Saints lead the series 5-2-1 but the matches have been very competitive.
"I think we have to control the game a little bit better against them," Petersen said.?"Sometimes we just get so excited when we're playing them because it is a rivalry that we don't control and get our passes going. We need to play with intensity the whole time."