WILLMAR — The St. Cloud Apollo girls soccer team stepped onto Hodapp Field having snapped its 20-game winless streak and attempted to start a winning streak with a win over Willmar.
The Cardinals had other plans.
Despite not scoring a goal in the first half, Willmar scored three straight goals in the second half and allowed one to come away with a 3-1 win over the Eagles on Monday.
“It’s good to kind of keep rolling here,” Willmar coach Amanda Broman said. “We’re finding our mid-season form and kind of figuring out our personality and hopefully we can continue to build throughout the week.”
Just as they have all season, senior forwards Sam Christoffer and Ellary Lange and goalie Ella Swensen contributed in key ways for Willmar. Christoffer recorded an assist and scored one goal, Lange scored a goal, Swensen saved five of the Eagles’ six shots on goal.
“This is probably one of the best teams that we have had in the past few years,” Christoffer said. “I know all of us seniors, Ella, Jaida (Reiman) Ellary, me, all of us, we’re just going all out senior year and doing the best we can.”
The Cards now have a 6-2-2 record.
“I think they’re exceeding expectations so far,” she said. “We said early in the season we’ve got a lot of seniors and they’ve got a lot of leadership. Truthfully, they keep growing every single week, every single day and every single practice.
“From the start of the season to now, I think we’re a very different team and hopefully we can keep growing from here.”
The teams played to a 0-0 halftime tie.
Broman said fatigue may have contributed to the lack of goals in the first half.
“We’re getting to the meat of the season and we’ve had a lot of games in the past couple weeks,” she said. “So the novelty of the game is kind of wearing off a little bit.”
The Cardinals dominated possession in the second half. Willmar’s first goal came in the 42nd minute by Christoffer on a pass by Fernanda Ossa Letelier. Lange scored on a penalty kick in the 46th minute.
At the 67th minute, Christoffer set up Fauzia Ibrahim for a goal, giving Willmar a 3-0 lead.
Apollo scored its lone goal a minute later.
Willmar plays at 7 p.m. Thursday at Sauk Rapids.