Caroline Sauer

Caroline Sauer and the Faribault defense faced plenty of pressure from the Albert Lea offense in Thursday’s Big 9 matchup. (Mike Randleman/Faribault Daily News)

The Falcons got off to the fast start they were looking for Thursday at Albert Lea.

Faribault sophomore Mercedes Huerta scored the first goal ever at Albert Lea’s new sports complex in the first three minutes. That turned out to be the Falcons’ (1-4, 0-3 Big 9) lone goal as the host Tigers (1-4, 1-2 Big 9) came back to win 4-1.

Albert Lea led 2-1 at halftime in what was a physical game for both sides.

“They put two bad goals away in the second half to make it a 4-1 loss. Not a true representation of the girls combinations and play. Hard fight for sure,” said Faribault coach Maddie Justin.

The Tigers controlled possession for most of the night, putting pressure on the Falcons’ defense.

“Olivia Williamson played another awesome game with at least 25 saves,” Justin said. “Sarah Engbrecht and Sydne Bauer played hard in the center of our mid field. And our two center defenders Bergen Williamson and Caroline Sauer had their work cut out for them and stepped up to the challenge. Ainsley Howells and Skylar Bertram worked their tails off getting up and down the field as our wings.”

Albert Lea’s complex upgrades are valued at approximately $24 million. They include upgrades to the football field (press box, grandstand, concessions, lights, new video board), two new grass soccer fields, two baseball fields, two discus throwing fields and associated concessions buildings. A new 20,000 square feet two-story field house was also constructed.

Faribault hosts Section 2A foe New Ulm (2-1-1) noon Saturday. The Eagles are coming off an 8-0 win vs. Worthington on Thursday.

Reach Sports Editor Mike Randleman at 507-333-3119 or on Twitter @fdnmike.

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