Bri Alger leads Lewis-Palmer to soccer win over Air Academy

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Photo - Lewis-Palmer's Brianna Alger, left, fights for contol of the ball with Air Academy's Liza Louthan in the first half of Lewis-Palmer's 3-0 win Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Don Breese Stadium. Alger had two goals in the game Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Lewis-Palmer's Brianna Alger, left, fights for contol of the ball with Air Academy's Liza Louthan in the first half of Lewis-Palmer's 3-0 win Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Don Breese Stadium. Alger had two goals in the game Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

Monument - Air Academy knew firsthand how dangerous a scorer Bri Alger could be.

The Lewis-Palmer striker that's headed to Washington State in the fall scored in the waning minutes of the teams' match last season for that game's only goal.

Alger did in the Kadets again, scoring twice and leading the Pikes Peak region 4A No. 2 Rangers past Air Academy 3-0 on Thursday night at Lewis-Palmer.

"We just got our rhythm," said Alger, who didn't have a shot on goal in the first half. "For us to win this is huge, because I feel like now we've found our groove."

Knowing that Alger usually plays up top in the middle, the Kadets clogged up the L-P attack throughout the first half, holding the Rangers (8-1, 2-0 5A/4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference) to two shots over the first 40 minutes.

But the defending 4A state champion found some room on the wings early, and coach Ryan Parsons opted to make a small change in the second half that proved big quickly.

He moved Alger from up top out to the left side to get her more space to work.

Soon after, a loose ball bounced to a wide-open Alger who blasted a goal from 22 yards out.

It was Alger again who picked up the ball on the left side, beat a couple defenders as she moved closer to the middle of the pitch and cranked another shot right-footed into the right side of the net.

"I think the biggest thing is we were focusing on that middle," Parsons said. "Getting that width was really important. Air Academy did a phenomenal job of clogging up the middle. So we had to figure something out and putting her out wide gave us a little more of that width."

The Kadets (4-4, 1-1) played soundly on the defensive end in the first half. That had Kadets coach Espen Hosoien pleased. But they couldn't capitalize on their attacks and succumbed again to Alger's goal-scoring ability.

"She's the difference, honestly," Hosoien said. "She did the same thing the last game of the regular season last year. With four minutes left she scores a goal out of nothing. That's what good players do.

"We knew about her, we just didn't defend her really well the first few minutes of the second half."

Lewis-Palmer capped the scoring when Annica Fletemeyer scored off a pass from Kirsten Hatton with less than 10 minutes to play.