Marshall edges Fairmont Area in 2A soccer clash, 1-0

SIDE-BY-SIDE — Fairmont Area’s Campbell Krusemark (19) and Marshall’s Mazin Abdallah battle while tracking down the loose soccer ball during Section 2A playoff action Thursday night at Mattke Field on the Southwest Minnesota State University campus in Marshall. (Photo by Kyle McAreavy)

MARSHALL — One goal ended the Cardinals’ season.

The Marshall Tigers beat Fairmont Area, 1-0, during second-round Section 2A soccer playoff action at Mattke Field on the Southwest Minnesota State University campus in Marshall on Thursday night.

The loss ended No. 12-seeded Fairmont Area’s season with a 4-13-1 record.

No. 5-seeded Marshall moves on to face No. 4-seeded Mankato West in a sectional quarterfinal in Mankato on Saturday.

The lone goal of the game came late in the first half.

After 30 minutes of back-and-forth play with the Tigers controlling much of the possession time, Marshall’s Mazin Abdallah broke through.

The Tigers had a left-to-right corner kick travel past the goalie box, but midfielder Hsa Law Eh hustled to the right corner of the field to retrieve the ball and send a high cross back into the middle of the box. Abdallah was there to receive Eh’s cross and headed it into the left side of the net with 7:08 left before halftime.

Fairmont Area goalkeeper Tyson Geerdes saved 15 shots to keep the Cardinals in the game.

The Tigers controlled much of the first half, getting eight consecutive shots on goal leading up to Abdallah’s score.

Fairmont Area had three shots on goal in the first half to Marshall’s nine.

Fairmont Area head coach Brady Meyer said he thought his team played well and he’s proud of their performances and effort throughout the year.

“Overall, I thought we played pretty good,” Meyer said. “We had some chances and it didn’t pan out tonight so, frustratingly, we’re done.

“I’m very proud of these guys and how they played this year and all the hard work they put in. … Now we’re waiting to see about what we’re gonna do next year.”

The second half got physical.

At the 30:20 mark, the Cardinals’ Rene Morales was given a yellow card for a hard slide tackle on a player in the air,

With 4:33 remaining, Campbell Krusemark was assessed a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct and with 2:11 left, Abram Sanchez was given a yellow card while Marshall’s Soe K Doe received a red card.

Sanchez pushed a forward to the ground near the Cardinal bench while fighting for the ball and Doe ran toward the Cardinal bench and shoved Sanchez into his teammates.

Marshall’s Hsa Khee Lar ran into the Cardinal bench, but did not participate in the shoving, so he was not given a card.

Fairmont Area got four shots on goal in the second half to Marshall’s six, which were consecutive.

The physical match ended with Fairmont receiving nine free kicks and Marshall getting 11.

With the season over, Meyer hugged his players and talked to each one individually on the bench, especially focusing on the seniors who finished their high school career. Meyer said he told them they are always welcome with the Fairmont Area team.

“We’re still a family, no matter what,” Meyer said. “You’re always welcome back, you’re always welcome to help out. We’re here for you no matter what.”

Fairmont 0-0–0

Marshall 1-0–1

Scoring Plays

1st Half

MAR–Mazin Abdallah (Hsa Law Eh), 7:08.

2nd Half

No Scoring

Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 3-4–7; Marshall 10-6–16. Corners: Fairmont Area 1-4–5; Marshall 2-2–4.

Saves: Tyson Geerdes (FA) 8-7–15; Tristan VanDeVere (MAR) 3-0–3; Carols Reyes 0-4–4.