Eagles knock off Big South power Waseca

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm’s Michelle Rosenhamer drives the ball up the field during the first half of the Eagles’ game against Waseca Monday at NUHS.

NEW ULM — In order to be the best, you have to beat the best.

On Monday night, the New Ulm girls’ soccer team did just that, handing Waseca its first lost of the season with a 1-0 victory over the Bluejays at New Ulm High School.

Paige Kalis scored New Ulm’s only goal just 2 minutes into the game after she somehow emerged with the ball and beat Waseca goalkeeper Erika Hertzog. The goal came on an assist from Maddy Roufs.

Kalis, last week’s Journal Athlete of The Week, now has a team-leading 15 goals on the season.

“In the first half, our pass receive was really good and we displayed a lot of patience, we were playing calm,” New Ulm coach Jonathan Johnson said.

The Eagles dominated the ball in the first half and for most of the second half, but Waseca made a late charge at the end. However, New Ulm’s defense held strong all game and preserved the shutout.

The win was a big one for New Ulm. The Eagles are in a tough stretch of games this week. They travel to Jordan (7-2-1) on Tuesday and Big South rival St. Peter on Thursday before traveling to Waseca on Saturday for the rematch.

It’s the first win for New Ulm against Waseca in at least three years. The Bluejays went 17-2-1 a year ago and made it to the Section 2A championship where their season ended, but they marched through the Big South Conference schedule with a 10-0 record.

“Our skill level has improved so much since the beginning [of the year],” Johnson said. “We’re not worried about making bad passes and we’re more at ease on the field.”