Grace Collins (24) battles with a Pelican Rapids player for control of the ball in Monday’s playoff opener.

The Lady Wolves soccer team came into their Section 8A playoff game Monday afternoon with a lot to be excited about.

Walker-Hackensack-Akeley was hosting a playoff game and they had a one-game winning streak after ending the regular season with a home victory just two days earlier.

The weather was ideal for the playoff game with Pelican Rapids, but the Wolves got off to a slow start and fell behind 3-0. But WHA never gave up and scored twice within about nine minutes.

Gabby Cairns scored WHA’s first goal at the 25-minute mark and Britta Rand added the second, just over nine minutes later. Both goals were on long shots from the right side.

The Wolves kept up the pressure and nearly scored again on a shot that got by the goalie, but literally stopped at the goal line.

The Vikings countered with a goal late. Tatianna Wiley, who scored the first three goals for the Vikings, got behind the defense again and put a shot by Brooke Vinkemeier with four minutes left in the half to grab the momentum back.

Pelican Rapids, who start several juniors and senior compared to two sophomores and many seventh- and eighth-graders for WHA, scored twice more in the second half for a 6-2 win.

“The girls played hard and didn’t give up. It wasn’t for lack of trying, we just didn’t convert on the shots we had,” Coach Jon Eclov said.

WHA had more shots on goal with 17, including nine on the frame.

Bri Vinkemeier finished with three shots on the frame and four off. Rand had four shots on and two off, and Cairns had two shots on and several just off.

“They were able to use their experience and speed to get behind us too many times and we couldn’t stop them from scoring,” Eclov added.


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