Pomerenke caps Cardinals’ comeback victory

WALL OF DEFENSE — Fairmont Area’s Adrian Sanchez (14) kicks the soccer ball away from Albert Lea’s Diego Balbuena Vidal (white jersey) as Cardinal teammates (left to right) Ben Heinze (12), Carson Pomerenke (4), Matthew Kotewa (6), goalkeeper Jack Kosbab and Josiah Hoye (7) form a defensive wall during action Saturday at Kot Soccer Complex in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Carson Pomerenke fully comprehends his job as a sweeper — prevent strikers from getting open looks on net, get a foot on every opposing shot, clear the ball if short-handed and quarterback the offense from his bird’s-eye perspective.

Pomerenke, however, experienced an up-close-and-personal view at the opposite end of the field at Jeffery Kot Soccer Complex on Saturday.

Fairmont Area head coach Brady Meyer moved his senior defender to striker during the final 10 minutes of regulation and the move paid dividends.

Jack Sadusky knocked home the equalizer at the 6:22 juncture before Pomerenke delivered the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal with 2:29 showing on the scoreboard to cap the Cardinals’ 2-1 comeback victory over the Albert Lea Tigers.

“We (coaching staff) wanted to try another option and it (the switch) worked,” said Meyer, whose lineup outshot the Tigers by a 7-3 margin and held a 9-3 edge in corner kicks during the nonconference match in Fairmont. “Trailing 1-0 at halftime, we told our guys to keep feeding the forwards and eventually we’d get a good look on net.”

Albert Lea grabbed a 1-0 lead when Alex Palmer took a lead pass from teammate Michael Olson, rushed the right wing and booted a 20-degree angled shot that hit the left pipe and crossbar before settling into the net with 18:44 remaining in the opening half.

“That’s an angled shot usually only MLS (Major League Soccer) put in the net,” said Meyer. “(Fairmont Area netkeeper) Jack (Kosbab) didn’t have a chance at stopping that shot, and it went in.”

Down by a goal, defenders Wyatt Luhmann and Adrian Sanchez, along with midfielders Ben Heinze, Josiah Hoye and Lincoln Becker, heeded Meyer’s halftime speech and consistently looked up the field for their forwards during the final 40 minutes.

“Our guys stuck to the game plan and finally tied it up late in the second half,” said Meyer.

Hoye accelerated down the left sideline, worked the end line and sent a low liner through Tiger defenders to Sadusky, who punched home the doorstep goal near the right pipe for a 1-all score with 6:22 remaining.

Pomerenke then patrolled the middle of the box as striker Matthew Kotewa muscled his way through a bevy of players along the left end line. Kotewa chipped an accurate pass to a leaping Pomerenke, who found the twine for the eventual game-winning goal with just 2:29 to go.

Ironically, Pomerenke and Luhmann later swept away a couple of late drives by the Tigers with less than a minute remaining in regulation to seal the win.

Kosbab made two saves to net the victory between the pipes for the Cardinals, while Albert Lea goalkeeper Juan Carlos Perez Peralta notched five stops.

“After missing the last two games due to illness, it was nice to get Jack back in goal today,” said Meyer.

Fairmont Area (3-5-1) plays host to Big South Conference opponent New Ulm at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at Kot Soccer Complex, while Albert Lea (0-6) plays host to Big Nine Conference rival Mankato West on Tuesday.

Albert Lea 1-0–1

Fairmont 0-2–2

Scoring Plays

1st Half

AL–Alex Palmer (Michael Olson), 18:44.

2nd Half

FMT–Jack Sadusky (Josiah Hoye), 6:22.

FMT–Carson Pomerenke (Matthew Kotewa), 2:29.

Shots-on-goal: Fairmont Area 5-2–7; Albert Lea 2-1–3. Corners: Fairmont Area 9; Albert Lea 3.

Saves: Jack Kosbab (FMT) 2; Juan Carlos Perez Peralta (AL) 5.

Girls Soccer

Fairmont Area 2, Albert Lea 0 (OT) — The Cardinals tallied goals in both 5-minute segments of overtime to scratch the Tigers during nonconference action Saturday at Hammer Stadium in Albert Lea.

Kennedy Becker drilled home Fairmont Area’s initial goal off a right-to-left crossing pass from Kate Busche for a 1-0 lead with 3:53 remaining in the first half of the 10-minute extra session.

Selma Bleess then delivered an 18-yard insurance goal off an assist from Emma Scheppmann with just 26 seconds to go in the second overtime segment.

Madi Stromberg stopped all 11 shots she faced between the pipes to earn the shutout for the Cardinals.

Albert Lea netkeeper Madison Vandersyde recorded a game-best 20 saves in the loss.

Fairmont Area (5-5) travels to Big South Conference opponent New Ulm on Tuesday night.

Frankie Martin and Ingrid Edman netted two goals apiece, while netkeeper Addie Folkerts pitched a shutout to pace Fairmont Area’s 5-0 victory over Albert Lea during C-squad action Saturday in Fairmont.

Martin converted Makenzie Gerhardt’s pass into the game’s first goal before finding the net off an assist from Addy Urban.

Edman then connected for a goal off an assist from Abbie Simpson before Edman tallied an unassisted goal. Molly Leiding capped the Cardinals’ offensive production with an unassisted goal.

Folkerts recorded eight saves to earn the shutout for the hometown Cardinals.


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