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Alexandria Senior High takes the ball down field during Thursday's soccer game against Bolton High. Alexandria won, 1-0

Photo Courtesy of Melinda Martinez / The Town Talk
Alexandria girls edge rival Bolton in first round

 From The Town Talk

By: Will Tubbs

Both teams came to play defense here on Thursday night, but an early goal proved decisive as No. 14 seed Alexandria Senior High downed No. 19 seed Bolton High, 1-0, in the opening round of the LHSAA Division II girls soccer playoffs.

ASH (11-10-1) advances to meet No. 3 seed Ben Franklin in the second round."I'm very proud of all 24 of my players," ASH coach Homer Williams said. "All of them put up a great effort tonight and it was needed. Bolton played a great game. My hat's off to them."

The home-standing Lady Trojans, playing before a vocal crowd that was near equally split between Bolton and Alexandria fans, wasted no time getting on the scoreboard and took a 1-0 lead just 1:54 into the contest when junior Marci Miller scored an unassisted goal after slipping behind the Bolton back line.

"We wanted to start out with an up-tempo approach," Williams said, "and it paid off. Our girls came out with the mindset of getting a ball in the net as quickly as possible."

From there, the ASH defense took over, holding off a relentless Bolton attack for the remainder of the first half.

With most of the first half played on the ASH half of the field and within 20 yards of the Lady Trojans' goal, Alexandria's defense turned the Lady Bears away empty-handed. Junior keeper Destiny Fox had three saves in the first half.

For its part, the Bolton defense held its own, other than the lone ASH goal. The Lady Bears faced several other runs by the Lady Trojans but, with a save by Aurianna Cordero and solid back line play, warded off a second break by Miller as well as a pair of other Lady Trojan shots.

"I thought they really held it together," third-year Bolton coach Rebecca Lee-Poklemba said of her team. "When you give up an early goal like that, it's easy to just pack it in. But they kept up the pressure and kept the ball on ASH's end most of the night to give us several chances to score."

Cordero finished with seven saves, including a nifty stop of a penalty kick at the two-minute mark of the second half. Fox had four saves.