When you have a zero in the loss column, you’re bound to get an opponent’s best effort.
Even when the opponent has a zero in the win column.
An Ahmed Ali goal with five minutes left in regulation saved Faribault (6-0-1, 3-0-1) from an outright upset Tuesday night at Red Wing (0-4-1, 0-4-1 Big 9), but the Falcons couldn’t tack on another in overtime of a 1-1 tie.
“We weren’t getting easy looks on the inside,” Faribault coach Brendan Cox said of an offense averaging 2.33 goals per game entering the night. “I think it was a combination of being a little overconfident going in knowing their record and knowing our record. I just think we weren’t quite as sharp and focused as we were.”
Red Wing’s goal came around eight minutes into the first half. It was temporarily deflating for a Faribault team that, in game seven, hadn’t trailed since early in the second half of game two Aug. 27 vs. Waseca.
“It kind of took the wind out of our sails a bit,” Cox said. “We kept battling, we had a number of chances, we just couldn’t convert. Their goalie made some really nice saves to keep them in it and keep the pressure on us. But we just kept battling and we were able to get a late goal and tie it up with about five minutes left and force overtime.”
Ali’s goal resulted from a corner kick sent to the right post by Tino Pimentel.
Red Wing’s four losses came 5-0 at Mankato East, 6-0 vs. Mankato West, 6-1 at Rochester Mayo and 6-0 at Northfield.
Northfield, Austin, Faribault and Century were tied atop the Big 9 entering the night with no ties or losses. Northfield moves into first at 4-0 in conference play with a win Tuesday at Rochester John Marshall. Century moved to 3-0 with a 3-0 win at Mankato West, which entered at 3-1. Austin and Faribault are tied for third at 3-0-1 after Austin tied 2-2 with Rochester Mayo.
The conference is deep top to bottom as last place Red Wing bumps up one spot to 11th. Albert Lea, which entered the night in 11th, won Tuesday at Winona to climb to ninth.
Rochester John Marshall at 0-4 is the only conference team without a win or tie.
A confident Mayo (5-2-1, 3-1 Big 9) team coming off a tie against the 2018 Class A state semifinalist is coming to Faribault 7 p.m. Thursday.
“They’ll learn from (Tuesday), we’ll move on and get ready for the next game,” Cox said. “The fortunate thing is we don’t have a lot of time to wallow on this. I think they know we could’ve played a little bit better and a lot of it was on us. We’ll come back to practice tomorrow and get back at it.”