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Girls Soccer: Cardinals open season by shutting out GSL

Zipping down the right wing, the Willmar’s Nicole Marshall (2) takes aim at the Glencoe-Silver Lake net where Zoe Christensen, not pictured, made the stop in the first half, which ended 0-0. Thursday’s match at the Kennedy Elementary pitch in Willmar was the teams’ season opener. The Panther defender is Emily Thalmen. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR — Seventh-grader Hannah Johnson assisted on two goals, Shelby Schneider scored twice, and Stephanie Thompson netted another goal as the Willmar girls soccer team opened the 2013 season with a 3-0 non-conference win over Glencoe-Silver Lake on Thursday afternoon at Kennedy School.

Cardinals senior goalie Jordan Martins made 5 saves, including a diving stop of a penalty kick.

Willmar’s offense forced GSL goalie Zoe Christensen to make 20 stops.

“What a great game to start the season,” said Cardinals coach Chelsea Brown. “Every girl in every position contributed to the big win.”

After a scoreless first half, Schneider broke through with a goal at 42 minutes, 33 seconds on an assist from Johnson.

Thompson scored about five minutes later, and Schneider sealed the game with a goal at the 54 minute mark, with Alexis Beccera assisting on the tally.

Strong defense was the key in getting the offense started, Brown said.

“Our defense was on point, driving the ball into our opponents half and communicating well with our midfielders,” Brown said. “Our forwards had many nice shots on goal from both inside and outside the 18 (yard box).”

The Cardinals play next at Hutchinson at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Willmar 3, Glencoe-Silver Lake 0

GSL (0-1)              0 0 — 0

Willmar (1-0)      0 3 — 3

FIRST HALF –  No scoring

SECOND HALF –  W: Shelby Schneider (Hannah Johnson) 42:33 … W: Stephanie Thompson (Johnson) 47:30 … W: Schneider (Johnson) 54:00

SHOTS ON GOAL – GSL: Not available … Willmar: Not available

GOALIE SAVES – GSL: Zoe Christensen 20 … Willmar: Jordan Martins 5