The Austin Packers boys soccer team was in search of win number four in a row Thursday night as they played host to the Winona Winhawks at Art Hass Stadium, and in a match with both Big 9 Conference and Section 1AA implications, a goal from Winona’s McKay Schultz off a corner kick in the 9th minute proved to be enough to lift the Winhawks to their first win of the season by a score of 1-0.
The other star of the match for Winona was goalkeeper Owen Ellefson, as he made three sparkling saves to keep his team in the lead. The first occurred in the first half when Packers defender Nick Asmus sent a beautiful cross in from the right sideline that found forward Joel Thwang open by the left post, but Ellefson was able to quickly move toward the post and turn away Thwang’s point-blank strike. Ellefson then made a diving save later in the half when another beautiful cross sent in from the right side found senior midfielder Moo Htoo open at the front of the six yard box, but his sliding shot was turned away by Ellefson to keep the score at 1-0. In the second half, Asmus was able to find some space in the offensive third and let loose with a bullet on the rush from 35 yards out, but just as it seemed the ball would sail into the net just under the crossbar, Ellefson was able to make a leaping one-handed save that just sent the ball over the crossbar to keep the Winhawks in front yet again.
Austin totaled five shots on goal, while Winona fired four shots on goal in the match, and with the loss, the Packers are now 3-5-1 in the Big 9 Conference and 4-6-1 on the season. Austin returns to action in a crucial Section 1AA matchup at Art Hass Stadium Saturday afternoon versus Byron, who right now have the most wins of any Section 1AA team with seven. Kickoff for the match will be at noon.