October 20, 2011 at 9:46 a.m.
The eighth-seeded Vikings girls' soccer team fell behind ninth-seeded Proctor 3-0 in the first half and never recovered. The Rails scored three goals in the second half, as well, shutting out the Vikings 6-0 in the opening round of the Section 7A playoffs last Thursday evening, October 13 at North Branch. The loss ended the Vikings' season as Proctor moved on to the second round of the playoffs.
Bayley Ertl created a couple of early scoring opportunities for the Vikings, both in the sixth minute. She rushed down the left side of the field with the ball and sent a ball across the center of the box. But a Proctor defender beat the Vikings to it and knocked it harmlessly over the goal line to the left of the net. On the ensuing corner kick, Ertl lofted the ball across the center of the box, but none of the Vikings went to the ball and it sailed through the box and bounced out of bounds on the right sideline, untouched.
Proctor got the only goal they needed in the 12th minute. The ball rolled across the Viking box from right to left. Viking goalkeeper Alyssa Rupp tried to chase the ball down, but a Proctor forward beat her to the ball and tapped it past Rupp and into the back of the net to put the Rails up 1-0. Proctor scored again in the 21st and 24th minutes to take a 3-0 lead. Rupp showed some toughness and started the game despite an injury. But she was clearly struggling to run and was pulled for the game after the third goal, replaced by freshman Sara Schreder-Gomes. The Rails continued to dominate the Vikings throughout the second half.
"Proctor was the better team tonight," said Viking head coach Doug Larson. "Our goal was to get to the playoffs and show how good we were, but we didn't do it tonight. We lost our confidence at midseason and didn't get it back."
But Larson sees lots of reasons for optimism heading into next year. He said "This year's team was mostly juniors, so we get one more year with this group. We're already chomping at the bit to start next season. Going into next year, I know what to expect as soon as we step onto the practice field for the first time."
The Vikings ended the season with an overall record of 8-9-0, losing seven of their last eight games.