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Girls soccer: Cardinals win season opener

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Willmar forward Hannah Bollig maintains control of the ball despite pressure from St. Cloud Cathedral defender Nicole Prom and heads upfield with senior forward Shelby Schneider, who scored Willlmar’s first goal, on Thursday at Kennedy Elementary in Willmar.

WILLMAR — Head coach Chelsea Brown couldn’t have been happier about the Willmar girls soccer team’s start on Thursday.

Shelby Schneider scored a first-half goal and Ingrid Lindgren and Jordan Sankey added second-half goals to lead the Cardinals to a 3-0 non-conference win over St. Cloud Cathedral at the Kennedy School field.

Goalie Laura Christenson, an eighth-grader, also played well in her varsity debut, Brown said.

“Coming into the season, we knew we had a special chemistry with these girls,” Brown said. “They all played well in summer soccer and they’ve adapted to our new formation and being more offensive-minded.”

Schneider scored on an assist from Hannah Schirm, and Lindgren and Sankey both scored unassisted in the second half.

The Cardinals defense also played a strong game, Brown said.

“(Cathedral) is a good passing team and we shut them down,” she said.

Christenson needed to turn away two shots but one was a penalty kick.

“She’s good,” Brown said. “She’s the real deal.”

The season is long and much can change, but Brown said she’s confident heading into Saturday’s 11 a.m. game at Mankato Loyola.

“The future is looking bright for Willmar girls soccer,” she said.

Willmar 3, St. Cloud Cathedral 0

SC Cathedral (0-1) 0 0 — 0

Willmar (1-0) 1 2 — 3

FIRST HALF – W: Shelby Schneider (Hannah Schirm)

SECOND HALF – W: Ingrid Lindgren … W: Jordan Sankey

SHOTS – St. Cloud Cathedral 2 … Willmar 8

GOALIE SAVES – St. Cloud Cathedral: 5 … Willmar: Laura Christenson 2