AUSTIN - Fairmont Area's road warriors literally kicked off the fall soccer campaign with a pivotal sectional victory.
Lexi Johnson and Sydney Leichtnam produced first-half goals, while the goalkeeping tandem of Jess Koskovich and Alex Christianson combined for a shutout to power the visiting Cardinals to a season-opening 2-0 triumph over the Austin Packers on Thursday in Austin.
Johnson, a junior striker, staked Fairmont Area to the early 1-0 advantage by converting junior forward Sierra Schultz's pass into the nonconference clash's initial goal with 35:51 remaining in the opening 40-minute half.
Sydney Leichtnam, a sophomore striker, then doubled the Cardinals' edge on the scoreboard at Wescott Field in Austin by drilling home an assist from sophomore forward Logyn Cone at the 21:53 juncture.
Fairmont Area generated a dozen shots on goal, while Austin also unleashed 12 blasts at the net.
Koskovich chalked up three saves between the pipes for the Cardinals, while Christianson recorded nine stops during her netminding tenure.
Sophomore goalkeeper Chloe Summerfield, who pitched a shutout during the Packers' 2-0 first-round sectional victory over the Cardinals last fall, made 10 saves on the contest.
Fairmont Area (1-0) travels to Mankato next Thursday for a 5 p.m. non-league contest against the Mankato East Cougars at the Kennedy Elementary School soccer field.
Austin (0-1) plays host to Worthington at 4 p.m. Saturday.
FA - Lexi Johnson (Sierra Schultz), 35:51.
FA - Sydney Leichtnam (Logyn Cone), 21:53.
Saves: Jess Koskovich (FA) 3-x-3, Alex Christianson (FA) x-9-9; Chloe Summerfield (Austin) 7-3-10.
Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 12; Austin 12.
Fairmont Area battled to a season-opening scoreless tie with Austin during junior varsity action on Thursday in Austin.
Cardinal goalkeeper Haley Burmeister produced five saves to net the shutout.
Fairmont Area's offense generated nine shots on goal, with Taylor Wolf leading the effort.
The Cardinals (0-0-1) travel to Mankato East next Thursday.